(Binghamton, NY) – Broome County Executive Debbie Preston is proud to join the Friends of the Forum in announcing jazz singer Alma Fortez is the most recent recipient of a Star on its Wall of Stars.
The County Executive’s Office was joined by members of the Friends of the Forum and Binghamton Mayor Rich David to present the star to Fortez’s family, in honor of her years of contributions and achievements on the local and national stage.
“Alma Fortez was a true icon, not only locally but also on the national stage,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “She did a great deal for the arts community and is truly deserving of this recognition.”
“Many of us were fortunate to have seen the beauty and talent of Alma Fortez at all the local venues where she entertained those who appreciated good music,” says Ron Sall from the Friends of the Forum. “Today she takes her place among the others who have done so much for the quality of life in our community on the Wall of Stars at the Forum Theatre.”
Hailing from North Carolina, Fortez came to the Binghamton area in the 1940s, but left to pursue a singing career.
She joined up with the pop singing group the “Platters” and made several hit recordings. Focusing on jazz, she toured with legendary American performers such as Billy Ford and the Thunderbirds, Louis Jordan and Dizzy Gillespie.
After performing up and down the east coast in Canada, Bermuda, Europe and Greenland, she returned to Binghamton in 1967.
She began working for IBM and joined the IBM Band, singing locally in Corning, Elmira, Ithaca and Binghamton.
Locally, she sang with the Billy Fuster Trio, Pat “The Cat” Monforte and his brother Tony and Craig Oakley.
She performed at local jazz venues such as Le-Chalet, The Amsterdam, the Music Box and the Roaring Fork.
Fortez passed away in 2010.
She is the 48th person to be honored with a star.
You can see all the stars on display in the lobby of the Forum Theatre.