Sunday, March 07, 2010


Composer and jazz vocalist Ellen Christi was born on March 7,1958 and has steadily gained ground as an important contributor to American improvised music and contemporary jazz. As a composer/vocalist, she has worked in varying performance venues ranging from multi-media theatrical productions to solo vocal concerts. She has also been an active advocate in supporting innovative performing artists through organizations that she has co-founded or directed.

Christi has studied piano technique, composition, and arranging with Jaki Byard, an internationally acclaimed pianist/composer and a professor at the New England Conservatory of Music. She had studied the bel canto technique with Galli Campi, a coloratura singer with the Metropolitan Opera.

Earlier on in her career, she studied vocal technique and movement with Jeanne Lee, an avant-garde jazz vocalist. Presently, Christi is working with vocal coach, Dr. Virgina Davidson, composer/conductor and founder of New York Treble Singers.

Christi was one of the co-founders of New York City Artists' Collective, a non-profit organization committed to developing creative independence for artist and fostering appreciation of visual and performing arts through educational seminars, concert productions, and record documentation/ production (N.Y.C.A.C. Records) She is also the founder of Network Records, an independent record label promoting contemporary jazz music.

She has received numerous grants and commissions from the New York State Council of the Arts and Meet the Composer. As well as having received varied commissions for dance and theater performances throughout the years, her most recent commission has been funded through the prestigious Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust. She is currently performing and teaching master classes in vocal technique/improvisation and movement throughout the United States and Europe.

Christi has been performing and recording with musicians in the United States and Europe for the past twenty five years. She has worked with; Tom Bruno, Ray Anderson, Mark Dresser, Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman, Rashid Ali, Tony Scott, Ed Blackwell, William Parker, Lisa Sokolov, Jeanne Lee, Kenny Wheeler, Steve McCall, Rahn Burton, Roy Campbell, Lawrence "Butch" Morris, and Hans Koch.

She has also been collaborating with Fiorenzo Sordini, Claudio Lodati, Carlo Actis Dato, and Enrico Fazio in Italy. In Switzerland, she has been performing and recording with Thomi Hirt and Pit Gutmann of the trio, Illustrio. Currently she is working with Joe Gallant's Illuminati, a 22-piece ensemble, performing and producing concerts with her present performing ensemble, Aliens' Talk.

She is developing a world music project with Vincent Nguini of Cameroon. And the most recent recording project is with bassist, Habib Faye and balafonist, Babacar Konate of Senegal. A great portion of her time is spent working as a producer for Bliss Corporation, a dance music production company in Torino, Italy.

Jeanne Lee project.

Recommended CDs

Deep Beats (2001)

Song Cycle with William Parker (2001)

Aliens' Talk (1998)

Instant Reality (1995)

Reference - Christi's website

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