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The Blues Alley Jazz Society Announces the Winners of the 4th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Competition

Frank Hammel • News • April 30, 2021

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Blues Alley Jazz Society announced the winners of the 4th annual Ella Fitzgerald competition, which was conducted on Saturday, April 24, and broadcast from the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

More details from the Blues Alley Jazz Society (

Our 1st place winner is Lucy Wijnands of Kansas City, Missouri and our 2nd place winner is Taisha Estrada of Washing- ton, DC. Our three 3rd place winners are Atrin Madani (Berlin, Germany), Ariana Stefanidis (New York, NY) and Naledi Masilo (Cape Town, South Africa). Ms. Wijnands is a graduate of the State University of Purchase, NY and Ms. Estrada is a graduate of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Ms. Wijnands is the recipient of a $1,500 cash award and Ms. Estrada receives a $500 award. The three third place winners each receive $250 for their contributions to our event.

Check out the winners here:

The Ella Fitzgerald Competition was initially founded in 2017 by the Blues Alley Jazz Society and the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation to celebrate the centennial of America’s “First Lady of Song”. The first annual competition included song selections from the 1956 “Ella and Louis” recording and was followed up the following two years by selections from “Ella Sings Jobim” and “Ella Sings Basie”. This year’s event celebrated the 1964 recording of “Ella Sings Mercer” and the competition finalists were allowed to pick three songs for their final selec- tions. The competition received 65 submissions from around the world with only five finalists.

This year’s judges were Alison Crockett (George Washington University), Darden Purcell (George Mason University) and Jessica Boykin-Settles (Howard University). The judges rated our five finalists based upon style, musicality and technical skills. Together each song selection was rated an overall score of up to 10 points with an overall rating of up to 30 points to determine our winner. Each contestant is permitted to register commencing on November 1st of the pre- ceding calendar year with a final submission deadline of January 31st of the prescribed compe- tition year. The 5th annual Ella Fitzgerald Competition will begin on November 1, 2021 with our five finalists competing on April 23, 2022. For further information and details and to sign up for updates and announcements please call: 202-544-3230 or visit

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