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Jazz Appreciation Month: Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan make the most of live mistakes

Herman Leonard Photography L.L.C./
Ella Fitzgerald always drew a crowd. This one from 1948 New York includes Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman.

Being on stage can be stressful. Even more so when singing for a live audience and you forget the words to the song. When you have the improvisation skills of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, though, you can turn lemons into lemonade.

KNKX jazz host Abe Beeson digs deeper into the famous Ella in Berlin concert and Sarah Vaughan's quick-thinking tribute to Ella at Mister Kelly's in Chicago. Both are joyful reminders of the important connection between musicians and their audiences.

Abe grew up in Western Washington, a 3rd generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.