Exhibition & Residency:
January 1 – March 31, 2014
Rising jazz star, John Ellis thrives on his influences from his humble beginnings in North Carolina to his uprising as one of the premier tenor saxophonists in New York City jazz scene. Since his studies at the North Carolina School of the Arts to the University of New Orleans, Ellis realized early on that music was the one thing he really wanted to do.
Besides studying under legendary jazz patriarch Ellis Marsalis at the University of New Orleans, Ellis has also collaborated with other renowned jazz artists such as John Patitucci, Charlie Hunter, Nicholas Payton, John Scofield, Aaron Goldberg, and Jason Marsalis.
In 1996, John Ellis’ career took a sharp turn as he moved to New York to establish himself as one of the best young saxophonists in the city. He attended the New School jazz program from 1997 through 1999 and was also selected as one of 13 semi-finalists in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, where he finished as the second place winner in 2002.
Additionally, John Ellis is an accomplished writer and bandleader with seven records out under his own name. His recent works include him co-producing the music for the popular children’s book series, “Baby Loves Jazz”. Other projects include collaborations with playwright Andy Bragen in Dreamscapes, which explores musical interpretations of dreams and features a string quartet, percussion, and woodwinds, and Mobro, which is Ellis’ most ambitious project to date. The latter tells a story of the Mobro 4000, a garbage barge that sailed for seven months in 1987, traveling from New York to North Carolina, New Orleans, and Mexico among other places, only to return to New York to be incinerated.
During his residency, 18th Street Arts Center joined forces with premiere jazz club in Little Tokyo, Blue Whale, to present two performances: February 7 and March 7, 2014
The Make Jazz Fellowship and related programs are made possible through the generosity of the Herb Alpert Foundation.