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Sat, May 18

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Merrimans' Playhouse

The Ellie Martin Quartet

Celebrating the release of her debut album, Verdant, vocalist-composer Ellie Martin channels her diverse musical influences into a broad collection of tunes.

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The Ellie Martin Quartet
The Ellie Martin Quartet

Time & Location

May 18, 2024, 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Merrimans' Playhouse, 401 E Colfax Ave, Suite 135, South Bend, IN 46617, USA

Guests

About the Event

TICKETS are $12 General/$6 Student. Concert is one long set. End time is approximately 9:00 pm.

Vocalist-composer Ellie Martin channels her diverse musical influences into a broad collection of tunes on her debut album, Verdant, set for independent release on May 12th. The album is made up of 12 original compositions and arrangements, and features bassist Kurt Krahnke, drummer Dr. Olman Piedra, and Israeli guitarist Ariel Kasler. Verdant is a musical journey into Martin’s life as a woman, a mother, and a cancer survivor. Having faced cancer at the age of 25, Martin realized the vitalness of living life to the fullest, and the importance of pursuing her dreams of making music. Martin embodies Verdant through her powerful vocals, vast palette of musical styles, and her sensitivity. Jazzz Dog president Shaunna Machosky proclaims, “Ellie sounds fantastic! She is part of the band, and I believe every word that she sings.” It is her performance that defines each song, bringing each story to life through her exquisite vocals, and her emotional connection to each piece is palpable.

Ellie Martin - vocals

Kurt Krahnke - bass

Olman E Piedra - drums

Ariel Kasler - guitar/piano

Recognized in the vocal jazz performance and scholarship worlds, Ellie Martin is a highly respected vocalist, composer, educator, and Jazz studies scholar. She is currently the vocal jazz instructor at the University of Toledo, as well as Toledo School for the Arts. She performs a wide variety of repertoire from Brazilian music, American Songbook, Bebop, as well as her original compositions. A fearless improviser, Ellie delivers songs with individuality, passion, and honesty.

Ellie Martin was born in 1985 in Florida and grew up singing. Often traveling with her academic parents, she was immersed in many different musical traditions from a young age. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Classical Voice Performance from McGill University, before switching to jazz voice for her master’s degree at the University of Toledo. While at UT she had the distinct privilege of working closely with her mentor the legendary vocalist and lyricist Jon Hendricks. Her master’s thesis was an oral history of his formative years and the formation of his famous vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. In 2016, she earned her PhD in Jazz Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied with Dr. Nathan Davis, and Professor Geri Allen. Martin has a parallel career as a working musician. Career highlights include performing at the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, the Sunset Jazz Festival, and the Michigan Jazz Festival. She was the featured vocalist with the National Arab Orchestra in San Antonio Texas, and performed alongside jazz luminaries Geri Allen, Terri Lynne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, the New York Voices, Jon Hendricks, and Afro Blue. Her background in Jazz Studies and performance make her a unique and distinctive educator and performer. https://elliemartin.bandcamp.com/track/step-into-your-essence

https://elliemartinmusic.com/

Bassist Kurt Krahnke studied at the Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory of Music. While in Boston, he toured with Ron Levy and played with other noted blues and jazz artists. Upon returning to Detroit, he toured with the early Sun Messengers and Leon Thomas. Since then, Kurt has been a stalwart on the Detroit area music scene for over 40 years, working with many jazz luminaries. Among the highlights of his performances are those with Sheila Jordan, Ray Bryant, James Moody, Larry Coryell, Joe Henderson, Steve Turre, and Clark Terry, in addition to the many great artists with which southeast Michigan and Northern Ohio have been blessed. He continues to mentor bassists in the region. https://www.allaboutjazz.com/musicians/kurt-krahnke/

Olman E Piedra is associate professor of percussion and drum set at The University of Toledo. He has performed with a variety of ensembles, including the Sphinx Orchestra, EXIGENCE vocal ensemble, the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, the Toledo Jazz Orchestra, Italian pop artist Patrizio Buanne, NOMO, Roland Vazquez' Latin Jazz Combo (Percussive Arts Society International Convention), vocalist Lauren Kinhan (from The New York Voices), Ken Thomson and Slow/fast, David Bixler’s I-75 ensemble, and the University of Toledo organ trio with the National Arab Orchestra Takht ensemble. Olman E Piedra received his DMA from Bowling Green State University. He also received two master’s in music degrees, in Percussion Performance and in Improvisation from the University of Michigan, and a BM from Baylor University. Dr. Piedra is an educational artist/clinician for Amedia cymbals, Meinl percussion, Remo drumheads, Black Swamp Percussion, and Innovative Percussion. https://olmanpiedra.com/home

Ariel Kasler is a pianist and guitarist with a master’s in jazz performance from Bowling Green State University, and a Bachelor’s from Berklee College of Music. He has released two albums Above the Sound (2015), and Make it Bloom (2022) that feature original jazz compositions and arrangements influenced by Middle Eastern, Jewish, and Israeli music. He has performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival, the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, the Grand Theatre in London, ON, the Clore Center for Music and Dance in Israel, and the Victorian College of Arts in Australia. In addition to performing as a solo guitarist and pianist, he works with the BGSU Jazz Faculty ensemble, the Peter Hysen Octet, the London Jazz Orchestra, Hollywood: Tribute to Michael Buble, Hughes & Mac and the Barry Usher Ensemble, and has directed cruise ship show-bands, accompanying artists such as Ian Finkel, Nathan Foley and Jim Curry. https://arielkaslerquintet.bandcamp.com/album/make-it-bloom

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from the Wells Fargo Philanthropic Services Private Trust Foundations, which include grants from the Stanley A. and Flora P. Clark Memorial Community Trust Foundation (2020-2021; 2022-2023 seasons), the John, Anna, and Martha Jane Fields Memorial Trust Foundation (2021-2022; 2022-2023 seasons), and the Florence V. Carroll Charitable Trust (2021-2022; 2022-2023; 2023-2024 seasons). Special concert event support provided by the Arts Midwest Grow, Invest, Gather (GIG) Fund grant (2022-2023 season). Activities are made possible in part by the Arts Organization Support (AOS), Indiana Arts Commission, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency (2023-2024 season).

Concerts and events made possible, in part, with support from The Esther and George Jaruga Charitable Foundation (2020-2023 seasons). The Student and Home Grown Series concerts made possible, in part, with support from the ArtsEverywhere Grant from the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County, and the Arts Project Support Grant and the Arts Recovery Grant through the Indiana Arts Commission.

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