On this day in 1934, aspiring dancer Ella Fitzgerald, intimidated by other competitors, changed her act to singing at the last minute and won the Amateur Night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater. Fitzgerald was only seventeen years old and a ward of New York State at the time, having been orphaned two years before. After a failed first attempt singing “The Object of My Affection”, the singer’s second try at the tune brought down the house.  By the 1950’s, Fitzgerald had become a jazz legend for her innovative vocal skills.

Michael Cummings of New York City machine appliqued this 96” x 68” quilt, titled “African Jazz Series #10,” in 1990.  The quilt was included in the 1992 exhibition, “Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt: Always There – The African American Presence in American Quilts” in Louisville, Kentucky. It was documented as part of the Kentucky Quilt Project.

See more of Cummings’ Jazz Series here.

View this quilt on The Quilt Index to find out! Read more about its history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view or click the “See full record” link to see a larger image and all the data entered about that quilt.


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Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance