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Legendary jazz guitarist Herb Ellis moved to the state of Arkansas in the late 1980's to enjoy semi-retirement from the frantic pace of a musician's life in Los Angeles. Since coming to the state he has been anything but retired. He has given many promising young jazz musicians around Arkansas a chance to perform and learn from a master jazz artist. He has given strength to jazz in Arkansas by performing at The University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Monday Jazz Series, The Eureka Springs Jazz Festival, The Wildwood Jazz Festival & Wildwood Music Festival, the Hot Springs Jazz & Blues Festival, The Arkansas Jazz and Heritage Foundation Concert Series, and in many other jazz venues around the state. In 1993 he was presented with The Arkansas Travel certificate making him an ambassador for Arkansas in his travels around the United States and the world.
Born August 4, 1921 in Farmersville, Texas, Ellis attended North Texas State University from 1941-43 where his classmates included Jimmy Giuffre, Gene Roland, and Harry Babasin. He has worked with such groups as the Casa Loma Orchestra, Jimmy Dorsey, the Soft Winds Trio, The Oscar Petterson Trio (during this time he established himself as one of the most technically accomplished of jazz guitarists), and The Great Guitars (with Joe Pass, Charlie Byrd, and Barney Kessel).
Ellis has recorded, toured or appeared on TV with some of the biggest names in jazz including Oscar Petterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Howkins, Roy Eldridge, Della Reese, Steve Allen, Red Skelton, and Danny Kaye. He has over 30 solo recordings on the Justice, Concord, Pablo, Verve, and Columbia labels, as well as various group recordings with Oscar Petterson and others. Ellis lives in Fairfield Bay, Arkansas where he runs his own music publishing/education/production business called Herb Ellis Music.
[Find related books and albums at the Foundation Store]
[All-Music Guide entry for Herb Ellis]
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