Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kenny Ellis is a graduate of Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts and also holds a certificate of Hebrew Education from Gratz College. He was a hit on the social engagement scene from the time he formed his first band in his late teens while working at many famous venues including Jewish Community Centers and synagogues in the New York-Philadelphia area.
Moving North to New York City to seek fame and fortune, he started auditioning for Broadway musicals by day while at night, honing his comedy/variety act at various clubs like the Copacabana, The Improv, and even the Kosher French restaurant in the Roosevelt Hotel where he sang with Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach, of blessed memory. Ellis branched out to the hotel circuits in the Catskills, the Poconos, Atlantic City and in Miami Beach. During this time, Ellis also began traveling to Israel, where he performed on Kol Yisrael - Israel National Radio - and was enthusiastically received at many kibbutzim, nightclubs, hotels, army camps and hospitals.