Jon-Erik Kellso

Primary Instrument: Trumpet

Born: May 8, 1964    

Jon-Erik Kellso

Trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso started playing professionally in and around Detroit, Michigan where he was born in 1964. Jon began early, playing in a big band at age 11, in the International Youth Symphony at age 13, and in a concert alongside cornetist Wild Bill Davison at age 17. Kellso played with a wide variety of groups there, including the J.C. Heard Orchestra.

In '88 Jon-Erik joined James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band with whom he's made appearances throughout North America, concertized on PBS TV, and recorded extensively, including a recent CD with Maria Muldaur entitled “Naughty, Bawdy, and Blue,” and a DVD with her as well....
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Pulitzer Prize, Emmy, Grammy, Tony, Murray, Congressional Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Magenta Heart, Time Magazine Man of the Year, blah, blah, blah....
Joe Lang wrote for the July/August '07 issue or Jersey Jazz: ”Blue Roof Blues: A Love Letter to New Orleans” is an exceptional album. Conceived as a tribute to the city that suffered so much from the devastation of Katrina, it is a triumph that evinces both the pain and joy of the city....Trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso assembled a company of outstanding musicians who are steeped in the traditional jazz sounds of the Crescent City, but who are constantly taking the music to places where it has not been before....Kellso once again proves that his is a unique and exceptional voice on trumpet....In addition, this album highlights his strength as a composer who honors the tradition, but adds a personal and contemporary sensitivity....Suffice to say that you will find that each (track) is a gem. This is an album that is ostensibly aimed at an audience inclined toward the sounds of traditional New Orleans Jazz, and, indeed, it will certainly find great favor with those devotees. Give it a listen, however, and you will hear music that defies classification. I expect that there will be many who consider themselves modernists in their taste being drawn to the music on “Blue Roof Blues.”

His debut album, “Chapter One” captured the attention of noted jazz critic Owen Cordle, who wrote, “Kellso has a fluent gift of melody and a knack for spicing it up with a Roy Eldridge-like rasp, a Howard McGhee-like excitability, and Rex Stewart-like tonal effects. Kellso debuts with a warm, swing-oriented session with no stray notes. The effortless, swinging mood is sustained throughout all 13 performances. Kellso is a most welcome discovery.”

In Scott Yanow's recently published book entitled “Swing,” Kellso's “Chapter 2: The Plot Thickens” received 9 of 10 stars. He is described as being “one of the finest Mainstream and trad cornetists to emerge during the 1990s.” Jon is also featured in Yanow's “Trumpet Kings” book.

Jack Sohmer reviewed “Chapter 2” for the Mississippi Rag, writing, “Kellso emerges as one of today's most fulfilling mainstream trumpeters and cornetists. His poignant, rounded tone suggests a seamless combination of Buck Clayton, Bill Coleman, Cootie Williams, Frankie Newton, and Roy Eldridge, a synthesis of which anyone may be justifiably proud. From the listener's point of view, it is difficult to think of anyone, save Ruby Braff, who so successfully embodies the best traditions of the past while at the same time bringing them convincingly into the present. Kellso is telling his story in the hallowed tradition of great yarn-spinners throughout history. He entertains, informs, and keeps our interest whetted for the next installment.”

  • BUY

    Blue Roof Blues: A Love Letter to New Orleans

    Arbors Records

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Primary Instrument:

New York, NY

Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.

I'm good. The best in my price range, as a matter of fact.

Clinic/Workshop Information:
melodic improvisation, and collective improvisation.

Bob DeNicola Puje' trumpet, which is a trumpet with an identity crisis (it looks like an old shepherd's crook style cornet), pronounced Pudgie. Also a Bob DeNicola balanced action trumpet, a DeNicola cornet, a '40 Conn 12B Coprion trpt, a '22 Conn Victor cornet, a '30 Olds French Model trpt, a '61 Martin Committee Deluxe, '28 Buescher Aristrocrat Custom Built model 235 Bb/C/A trumpet, a King Silver Sonic cornet.... I play a Greg Black custom mouthpiece.

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For those keeping score—the 1st soloist is cornetist Danny Tobias, followed by clarinetist Evan Christopher, trombonist Harvey Tibbs, trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso, clarinetist Dan Block, guitarist Howard Alden, and that's drummer/vibes player Chuck Redd playing brushes on the table and chair and whatnot, trading with bassist Sebastian Girardot in town from Paris. Come visit us there at the Ear, we play Sundays, 8-11 pm, 326 Spring St., NYC. -Jon Kellso
Rank: 1,730 Views: 8,741 Fans: 2
Featured recording “Blue Roof Blues: A Love Letter...”

Blue Roof Blues: A Love Letter...

Arbors Records (2007)
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