Cover: $25 // Show: 8:00pm
Through the ages, there have been a number of famous blind African American male entertainers in Gospel, Blues, Soul and Pop but few as unilaterally gifted as Ellis Hall. What other man can claim to have written 3,800 songs, sung at the funeral of Helen Keller at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York and before Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, Africa, been a member of Oakland Soul band Tower of Power and a lead voice for the animated California Raisins, been nominated for a Ovation Theater Award for his very first stage role in “The Gospel At Colonus” (in which he sang, acted, and walked the stage and stair props mostly unattended), and penned the official song of the city where he grew up: Claxton, Georgia. Welcome to the unprecedented greatness of Ellis Hall.
When it comes to music, Ellis Hall does it all. He is a seasoned and accomplished vocalist in possession of a powerful 5-octave range. He is a songwriter, arranger, producer and educator that teaches clinics in which he records all the parts of a song in 45 minutes. Ellis’ first instrument was drums before he went on to master piano, keyboards, guitar and - his favorites - upright and electric bass. Across a career of 40-plus years and counting, Ellis Hall has proven himself as an all-around performer that has entertained audiences on five continents, sharing stages with giants ranging from Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle and Toby Keith to Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Bobby Womack, George Duke and Shelia E. His reputation of excellence earned Ellis the moniker, “The Ambassador of Soul.”
Ellis became super busy in Los Angeles as a session musician and featured artist on records with artists such as John Klemmer, Carl Anderson, Larry Dunn and Kenny G, the latter with whom he scored a Top 15 R&B hit singing a Preston Glass-produced remake of Jr. Walker & The All-Stars’ “What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)” from the multi-platinum Duotones LP (Arista – 1986). Ellis also got busy in Hollywood, singing songs for live action and animated films such as “The Lion King 2,” “Shrek 2,” “Chicken Run,” “Invincible” and “Bruce Almighty,” and acting in the comedy “Big Momma’s House” (Martin Lawrence) and the crime drama “Catch Me If You Can” (Leonardo DiCaprio).
Ellis finally met his greatest inspiration, Ray Charles, in 2001 at a Christmas party. Charles signed Ellis to his CrossOver Records label in 2002, mentoring him at his famous RPM Studios. Sadly, when Ellis’ record was set for release in 2004, Ray died…but not before hipping him that he needed to get on the Symphony Show circuit. Ellis did his first one in 2005 at the Hollywood Bowl and has since been playing with prestigious 81-piece orchestras internationally, including the Pittsburgh Symphony with Marvin Hamlisch conducting. Ellis’ first concept show was “Ray, Motown and Beyond.” In Sept. 2016, he debuts “Soul Unlimited” (conducted by Jeff Tyzik) where he “Ellis-izes” songs from David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” to “Something” by George Harrison (which Ellis recorded on his CD Straight Ahead featuring Billy Preston on organ).
For more information on Ellis Hall visit: www.Ellishall.com