“Jazz vocalist Ellie Martin has composed and recorded a magnificent debut album, one that showcases
not only her obvious skills as a highly trained, highly educated and pitch-perfect singer but also her
chops as a songwriter… Her heartfelt lyrics cover a gamut of life experiences as a woman, a mother, and
a cancer survivor.” - Tom Henry, Toledo Blade
“The 12 songs on Verdant capture the essence of Ellie Martin’s persona in musical form. The depth and
breadth of her artistry and resonance is something you’ll enjoy for years to come.” - Paula Edelstein, Sounds of Timeless Jazz
“Verdant, comprising 12 diverse originals, offers wonderful greenery and scenery. Covering a tremendous amount of ground while truly coming into her own, Ellie Martin makes a serious impression as an artist with something to say.” - Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
“Verdant requires more than casual listening… so much of it sounds strikingly pretty the first time around and becomes pretty interesting on further investigation and exposure. Her sweet-timbered voice floats through the air, often seeming ethereal and gossamer–but it can also throb with strength. The most effective piece to my mind and ears is "As Time Goes," with bittersweet lessons about aging, such as the acceptance of trading youth for truth.” - Rob Lester, Sound Advice/Talkin' Broadway
“Martin is very versatile, with her light voice, she interprets a wide variety of styles, Brazilian music, American Songbook, bebop, jazz, she even dares to play the Spanish couplet (and she doesn't do it badly). She is a musical storyteller, and her interpretations sound honest and full of passion.” - Jose Ramon, La Habitacion del Jazz (Spain)
“With Verdant, her debut album, her audience will undoubtedly extend both nationally and worldwide.” - Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal (UK)
“The beyond merely fabulous, multi-talented singer/songwriter Ellie Martin makes her recording debut with Verdant, a vibrant, 12-track musical journey chronicling life powerfully lived/embraced and challenges powerfully survived… a stylistically diverse, lyrically poetic musical storyteller.” - Jonathan Widran, JW Vibe
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. Her debut solo album Verdant, was released in May of 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.
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 explored 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.