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The Ellas

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Founding member, Jennifer Denmark, has been performing in trios since she was 9 years old. From doo-wop to country, she has played it all in 3-part harmony. Her love of big-band era music stemmed from dinner at a steakhouse when she was 15 years old. “I remember hearing Ella playing through the restaurant and I was so enamored with her voice I had the waitress go find out who was singing.” By noon the following day, Jennifer owned every Ella album Tower Records had on their shelves.

10 years later, Jennifer found herself writing country music full-time in Nashville, TN. In November of 2009 she was inspired to write her first Christmas song, Candy Cane Lane, which she wrote in traffic on her way home from work one day. This song became the catalyst for the creation of The Ellas.

Emily James is a singer/songwriter hailing from Northern Minnesota. While she grew up listening to many different genres of music, her love for big band came from her grandmother, who died only months before she was born. “Everyone tells me I’m so much like my Grandma Barbie,” James says. “Even though we’ve never met, big band era music, especially Ella Fitzgerald, has always made me feel a connection to her.” Emily toured as the singer and piano player with her high school jazz ensemble and studied jazz intensely at Berklee School of Music, but ultimately landed a staff songwriter position at Liz Rose Music, where she writes pop and country music for other artists. James shares, “it wasn’t until The Ellas that I finally found an outlet for my love of all things swing.”

After living & writing country music in Nashville for a few years, Melissa Fuller found herself incorporating the big band jazz and pop melodies she’d grown up listening to into her story driven lyrics. “I had such a rich upbringing of incredible music – from the Glenn Miller Orchestra to every Rat Pack & Nat King Cole record I could get my hands on.” She began writing with kindred spirits that also had eclectic tastes in music. "When Jennifer & I wrote for the first time, we were singing these jazz runs & finishing each others melodic thoughts in harmony. It was incredible." The Ellas is a dream project for Melissa & she's so proud of the new record, produced by Grammy award winning engineer Chad Carlson.

The Ellas loves Christmas, particularly Christmas music, but they noticed that modern Christmas songs just sound like pop songs. When they think of Christmas music, the greats like White Christmas and The Christmas Song came to mind. Their goal is to create modern Christmas songs with throwback lyrics and melodies to create that timeless feel similar to the songs everyone has been singing along with for decades.

 

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