The DuSable Museum of African American History is proud to host A Celebration of Ella!!, a loving tribute event for all ages honoring the music and legacy of Ella Jenkins. At 94, Jenkins is one of the most revered singers and songwriters of the past century primarily performing music for children, having released dozens of albums for the iconic label Folkways Records since 1957 including ‘You’ll Sing A Song And I’ll Sing A Song’, ‘Multicultural Children’s Songs’, and her most recent album ‘Camp Songs’, released in 2017 on Smithsonian Folkways. The program brings together some of Chicago’s premiere talent for and by children including the Chicago Children’s Choir, musician and educator Carol Weston, storyteller Alice Butler Collins, tap dancer Reggio “The Hoofer” McLaughlin and musician Tammy McCann, as well as a special sneak peek of Ella Jenkins: We’ll Sing a Song Together, an upcoming documentary about Jenkins and proclamations from the City of Chicago and Cook County.
Ella Jenkins’ music has captured the hearts and minds of young people for over 50 years. Her performances are filled with interactive, call-and-response songs, and her repertoire features music from cultures originating all around the globe. She has been nominated for Grammy Awards for her albums Ella Jenkins and a Union of Friends and Sharing Cultures with Ella Jenkins, and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammy Association in 2004. She performed on such iconic shows as Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Sesame Street, This Is Rhythm, and more. Few musicians have made such an indelible impact to the development of young people as Ella Jenkins.