Born: May 11, 1972 Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Born and raised in the great jazz town of Kansas City, Laura Ellis began honing her vocal skills when she was 10 years old, singing along with her father’s old 45rpm records. His love of music instilled a passion in Laura that continues to this day. Laura’s early influences were Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Chris Connor, Etta James, Sam Cooke and the R&B groups from the 50’s and 60’s as well as the Big Band singers from the 1940’s.
As a young adult, Laura attended Kansas State University, where she trained in dance and vocal performance and toured the USA singing as a member of the K-State Singers. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and began her professional career not only as a singer but also in acting. Some of her TV performances include Modern Family, Make Me Laugh, History Channel’s Route 66 and Modern Marvels documentaries, the HBO series, Carnivale and an appearance with one of her singing idols, Della Reese in an ad for Avandia. She most recently appeared on the ABC show Modern Family.
On stage, Laura performed a one-woman show entitled, The Vintage Voice that was critically acclaimed and ran for 4 years. She has also performed as a member of the all girl vocal group, The Wonderelles that honor the girl groups of the 40’s 50’s and 60’s.
While attending classes at UCLA, Laura met Alan Paul of the acclaimed vocal group, The Manhattan Transfer. He became her mentor and coach and produced her debut CD “Here Lies Love”.
Her current touring show, Femme Fatale: Music, Movies, & Mayhem, is a plot-driven, multi-media musical homage to the sultry sirens of the Film Noir movies. In Femme Fatale, Accompanied by her Jazz Noir band, Laura Ellis portrays the double-crossing, leading lady - singing, acting, and, through the wonders of green screen technology, appearing as a key character in the classic black and white films.
Laura shares her expertise during her touring residencies with her workshop So want to be a Singer...and pay the bills? For elementary and secondary school audiences, her show American Style introduces the students to the different song styles that are part of America's musical history - from blues and jazz to country and Broadway.
In 2010, Laura launched her new cabaret program, Temptation - Songs of the Movie Sirens.
Her latest recording, Femme Fatale, featuring songs from the stage show, is planned for a Spring 2011 release on her Vintage Voice label.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Luke, who is a documentary filmmaker and her son.
Laura was a delight! Her winning personality came across just as much as her beautiful voice. The song selections were perfect and delivered with just the right mix of sultry seduction and playfulness. All in all, the show was a hit.
My thanks to you, Laura and the entire band for a great show. I’m already getting requests to have her back.
Christian P. Wolf - Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation
Our audience was more than captivated by her illuminating voice, gracefulness, and story-telling on stage. Jessica Waltz - City of Vista Avo Playhouse