Verdant Tour

Step Into Your Essence

Ellie Martin

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Step Into Your Essence

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This is an original composition and arrangement about self love, and being brave enough to truly be ourselves and cherish each moment that we have.

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Recognized in the vocal jazz performance and scholarship worlds, Ellie Martin is a highly respected vocalist, composer, educator, and Jazz studies scholar. She is currently the vocal jazz instructor at the University of Toledo, as well as Toledo School for the Arts. She performs a wide variety of repertoire from Brazilian music, American Songbook, Bebop, as well as her original compositions. A fearless improviser, Ellie delivers songs with individuality, passion, and honesty. Career highlights include performing at the Pittsburgh Jazz Festival, the Sunset Jazz Festival, and the Michigan Jazz Festival. She was the featured vocalist with the National Arab Orchestra in San Antonio Texas, and performed alongside jazz luminaries Geri Allen, Terri Lynne Carrington, Esperanza Spalding, the New York Voices, Jon Hendricks, and Afro Blue.  

From an early age, Ellie had a deep interest in jazz. In 2008 she completed her bachelor’s degree in voice at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she studied with Ranee Lee, and performed at the Upstairs jazz club. In 2010, she completed a master’s degree in vocal jazz performance at the University of Toledo. While at UT, Ellie worked closely with the legendary lyricist, vocalist and distinguished Professor of Jazz, Jon Hendricks, and wrote her master’s thesis on his early life and the formation of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.  In addition to Hendricks, Ellie studied with and performed regularly with legendary Detroit pianist, Claude Black, and bassist Clifford Murphy at Murphy’s jazz club. In 2016, she earned her PhD in Jazz Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied with Dr. Nathan Davis, and Professor Geri Allen. Her dissertation how vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross mediated the vocal and instrumental roles in jazz, while simultaneously navigating race and gender roles at the height of the Civil Rights movement. Ellie has given several national and international lectures on the vocal jazz historiography, ranging from topics of improvisation, intersections between voice and instrument, vocalese, and the formation of vocal jazz groups. Her background in Jazz Studies and performance make her a unique and distinctive educator and performer.    

Ellie's debut solo album Verdant, will be released on May 12, 2023. The project is a collection of all original compositions that reflect on her experiences as a woman, a mother and a cancer survivor, and features Grammy nominated pianist and vocalist Peter Eldridge, Israeli guitarist Ariel Kasler, bassist Kurt Khranke, and Costa Rican multi-percussionist Olman Piedra. 


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 For Information regarding Concert Booking, Compositions, Arranging, as well as Vocal Coaching and Research please contact me at:

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Teaching Philosophy:

Ellie Martin is a committed and passionate teacher and researcher. With over 15 years of experience teaching in both universities and performing arts schools, Martin is a well versed teacher. She uses a holistic approach to teaching allowing students to find their own voice, and connect to their body regardless of genre in a safe and healthy way. 

In addition to teaching private voice lessons, she has extensive experience coaching vocal groups, and has done several clinics with different University and High school groups. She currently teaches voice at the University of Toledo and Toledo School for the Arts in addition to her private studio. Other subjects that she has taught include Class Piano, History of Jazz, Musical Diversity in the US, Songwriting, and Improvisation. Ellie Martin is available for private instructions online, workshops for vocal ensembles, and research lectures on all topics related to vocal jazz.


If you are interested in lessons, a workshop or my research feel free to contact me with the inquiry form below. 




PhD in Jazz Studies
University of Pittsburgh, 2016

Masters of Music in Vocal Jazz Performance 
University of Toledo, 2010

Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance
McGill University, 2008


“Sing a Song of Freedom: Civil Rights and the Reception of Race and Gender in the Music of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.” In Music Criticism 1950-2000, ed. Roberto Illiano and Massimiliano Locanto, 81-94. Turnhout: Brepols, 2019.   

“Media Review Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer.” Jazz Perspectives 17 (2013): 323–327.

Dissertation: Validating the Voice in the Music of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, 2016 

Masters Thesis: Jon Hendricks, Father of Vocalese: A Toledo Story, 2010,