Adventures in Rhythm Logo

For Immediate Release
March, 2019

• A Celebration of Ella!!
Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m. - Mondy, May 13, 2 p.m.

Chicago, IL The DuSable Museum of African American History is proud to announce A Celebration of Ella!!, a loving tribute event for all ages honoring the music and legacy of Ella Jenkins. The event will take place on Saturday, April 13th from 11 am – 2 pm Central at the DuSable Museum.

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 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.

A Celebration Of Ella!! will offer children and their adults a chance to immerse themselves in Ella’s music and spirit, and offer a chance to meet Ella herself. Following a welcome ceremony, the Chicago Children’s Choir, which has contributed to several Ella Jenkins recordings throughout the years, will perform songs inspired by the idea that young people from diverse backgrounds can better understand each other, and themselves, by learning to make music together. The Choir has impacted more than 50,000 diverse young people throughout its 62-year history, and built programs that reflect the racial and economic diversity of Chicago. This will be followed by a 15-minute sneak peek of Ella Jenkins: We’ll Sing a Song Together, a documentary by Tim Ferrin about the life and pioneering work of Jenkins, the First Lady of Children’s Music, which is currently in post-production.

The program continues with an interactive performance with musician Carol Weston, who will lead children in new and familiar songs, including Jenkins staples such as “Miss Mary Mack,” “Jenny Jenkins,” “This Land Is Your Land,” and more as children clap, sing, and play small instruments. Alice Butler Collins will lead an interactive storytelling performance for children using rhythm, rhyme, call and response to honor Jenkins. Tap dance icon Reggio “The Hoofer” McLaughlin will tap along to Ella’s songs, introducing children to his unique style of “hoofing” one tap at a time and encouraging them to dance along. Musician Tammy McCann will round out the afternoon with a program called I Got The Blues! In which little songwriters are taught how to share their stories through the American tradition of the Blues. Throughout the day Cook County and the City of Chicago will be sharing proclamations in tribute to Ella’s impact on the local community through music and song.

For more information about the event, please visit:

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NOTE: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings retail distribution is through ADA (Alternative Distribution Alliance) at 800.239.3232. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings releases are available through record and book outlets. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, as well as the original Folkways, Cook, Dyer-Bennet, Monitor, Paredon, Fast Folk, Collector, M.O.R.E., I.L.A.M. and A.R.C.E. collections, are available via mail order at 888.FOLKWAYS or 800.410.9815 and via the Internet. Visit the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings website at"

U.S. print media inquiries:
Nick Loss-Eaton ( and Chris Taillie (, Shore Fire Media, (PH) 718.522.7171

Radio & promotional inquiries:
Mark Gustafson, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, ( or (PH) 202.633.6457

Online Marketing inquiries:
David Horgan, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, ( or (PH) 202.633.6458

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U.S. print media inquiries: Matt Hanks, or Mark Satlof, Shore Fire Media,, or 718.522.7171.

Radio & Promotional inquiries: Mark Gustafson, Shore Fire Media, or 202.275.1156

Sales & Marketing inquiries: John Smith, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, or 206.568.8144