You Are There
Vocal jazz has been a lifelong passion for Ellen Ross. She first began performing publicly at the age of 12, in her hometown of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Throughout her school years she's been fortunate to have worked under the guidance of extremely dedicated vocal music instructors, who consistently created performance opportunities that otherwise wouldn't have been available in this small town community. Ellen continued on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she toured and performed with the esteemed Wisconsin Singers, a professional-caliber song and dance ensemble who performs throughout the state and country. With her role in the "Singers" to keep her actively performing as a musician, Ellen focused her studies at Madison on a degree in business. Much of her career has been spent in marketing and advertising, with an exciting stint in high-tech start-ups during that industry's heyday. While business may have been Ellen's daytime pursuit, her love for jazz and performing never wavered. In 1996, Ellen met Denver-based Jazz Pianist Paul Cotugno and began working with Paul to expand her jazz portfolio and develop new musical arrangements. For the next 10 years, Ellen performed throughout the Denver area at local clubs and jazz festivals. She spent 2 years performing with jazz vocalist Lisa Bell, and recorded on Lisa's album, It's All About Love, released in 2005. In 2006, Ellen took a hiatus from her marketing career, to pursue her own music interests. The results can be heard on her debut album, You Are There, which was released in January, 2007. Ellen has a smooth and pure vocal style that has been compared to that of Julie London. In every song she sings, she expresses the lyrics and music in a way that only comes from personal experience. "When I look back on my life, there's definitely a part of me that wishes I had pursued a career in music at an earlier age, but at the same time, I can't deny the value that life experience brings on so many levels... from understanding some of the business aspects necessary to make it as an independent musician, to the personal relationships I've experienced that shape my interpretation of the music I perform. And for that, I wouldn't change a thing."