A Year in the Life of Saxman John Ellis

When John Ellis arrived at the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival last weekend as the reedman with Kendrick Scott Oracle, we knew he meant business, and sure enough, he delivered.

Then it occurred to us that the saxophonist and sometime bass clarinetist certainly does know his way around Nippertown.

Here’s a little timeline and photo essay to show you what we mean:

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Saturday, June 27, 2009: John Ellis plays the Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at the gazebo stage with his own band, the John Ellis Quintet.

Sunday, September 6, 2009: John Ellis pops up at the Tanglewood Jazz Weekend in Lenox, blowing his horn with Texas jazz vocalist Kat Edmonson.

John Ellis with Kat Edmundson (left) and at the Jazz Fest in 2009

John Ellis with Kat Edmundson (left) and at the Jazz Fest in 2009

Thursday, March 4, 2010: John Ellis lands in Albany, leading his glorious New Orleans-meets-New York ensemble Double-Wide into Red Square for a most memorable performance. Unfortunately, there are only a couple of dozen fans in attendance.

John Ellis

John Ellis @ Red Square

Sunday, June 27, 2010: John Ellis is back at SPAC once again, at the same place that he was exactly one year earlier – playing on the gazebo stage at Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival. This time around, however, he’s playing with Kendrick Scott Oracle.

John Ellis with Kendrick Scott Oracle @ SPAC

John Ellis with Kendrick Scott Oracle @ SPAC

That’s four shows around Nippertown over the course of just one year – and each time around with a different band. That’s what we call improvising, and that’s what jazz is all about.

Keep on comin’, John. We can’t wait to see what you’re gonna do next.

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk

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