Born: January 11, 1985 Primary Instrument: Organ, Hammond B3
Born and raised in Berkeley, CA, Eli began his musical career playing piano in the award winning Berkeley High Jazz Ensemble. While still in high school he toured Europe to play the Umbria, Montreux And Vienne Jazz Festivals. During his senior year he took up the Hammond B-3 Organ and began gigging at San Francisco organ clubs like The Boom Boom Room, Club Deluxe, The Purple Onion, the Alpha Bar and Bacar.
Eli went on to receive a BA in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, where he studied jazz performance with Kenny Burrell. While living in LA, Eli performed at venues like The Jazz Bakery, Catalina’s Bar and Grill, The Mint and the Temecula Valley Jazz Festival. He was reviewed and featured in LA Jazz Scene, The Hollywood Weekly and interviewed on Los Angeles radio stations. In 2008 he received the Louis Armstrong Young Composers award from ASCAP.
After graduating UCLA, Eli moved back to the Bay Area and established his own trio while also playing in numerous other groups. Eli performed at some of the most established venues and festivals in the bay area including Yoshi's, Coda, Madrone, The Jazzschool, The San Francisco Jazz Festival and the Fillmore St. Jazz Festival. Eli also taught music privately at various music schools across the bay area. In the spring of ’09, Eli was selected to participate in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in Washington D.C. and perform on stage at the Kennedy Center. The following year, Eli moved to New York City where he has continued to both teach and perform with multiple bands, including Zongo Junction, Shareef Clayton and Ethan Shorter.
Eli has studied with Susan Muscarella, Wil Blades, Joe Bagg, Sam Yahel, and Dr. Lonnie Smith.
Listening to Eli's music is like eating a Gordo's super chicken burrito while watching The Big Lebowski: satisfaction in both the mind and in the soul...
Eli's direction in jazz organ is deliberate and well conceived. His ideas unfold in a soulful pattern of comfort and ease.--Pete Fallico, Doodlin' Productions KSUP 88.9FM , Santa Cruz, www.doodlinlounge.com
Sundelson hints a little at Larry Goldings but...has his own voice...The improvisations are logical, the interplay between the musicians gives the set a strong unity and purpose, and the group has its own sound within the organ trio tradition.--Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene
Sundelson [is] cranking out a racing bass line on his organ. Throughout the album it becomes apparent that Sundelson’s unique instrument of choice, the Hammond B-3 organ, a relic from the ’50s and ’60s, is the group’s secret weapon.--Jake Ayres, The Daily Bruin
Organ, Hammond B3
Willing to teach:
Advanced students only.