Joan Ellison has been praised for her "vocal prowess...[and] organic grasp of the classic songs" by Michael Feinstein, and described as bringing "a keen blend of vocal splendor and verbal crispness to every musical moment" and "possess[ing] a crystalline voice that never stops" (Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer).
Her long-time immersion in the popular vocal styles of the 1920s to the 1960s includes transcribing over 200 piano and vocal arrangements note--for-note from classic recordings. This intimate understanding of vintage musical and vocal styles brings distinct freshness, immediacy, and authenticity to her interpretations of class American standards.
Recent past symphonic appearances have included the Cleveland Pops Orchestra (with maestro Carl Topilow) headlining their “Songwriting Giants of Broadway” concert; “Judy Garland Valentine” with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic under Eric Benjamin; “The Music of Richard Rodgers” with the Erie Philharmonic; and a return engagement with the Erie Philharmonic (with maestro Daniel Meyer) for their series of Holiday Pops concerts. In 2005 she made her Severance Hall debut with the Cleveland Pops opposite Broadway baritone William Michals, and has since sung a dozen times with the ensemble in repertoire ranging from The King and I to Wicked.
In addition to touring the country with Love Finds Judy Garland and Gershwin On the Air, Joan has trod the boards as Julie in Carousel, Nellie in South Pacific, Lizzie in 110 in the Shade, Eliza in My Fair Lady (in concert), and Claudia in Nine. In 2010, Joan released her debut album, A Date With Judy! Joan Ellison Sings Judy Garland.
She earned an M.M.T. and a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she was elected Pi Kappa Lambda. Early musical highlights while growing up in Iowa included playing Flora in The Turn of the Screw with the Des Moines Metro Opera, opposite Lauren Flanigan, and singing for Liza Minelli when she came to town. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association. Please visit www.joanellison.com for other projects and more clips.
“To say ‘Joan lit up the stage’ is to use a cliche, but that’s why the phrase was coined to begin with. She did just that as she sang the Garland tunes with heartfelt spirit and a warm, vibrant sound - she is a gem! The audience fell in love at first sight and song.”
— Eric Benjamin, Composer & Conductor
This Performance is part of the Cabaret Series.
The Cabaret Series brings outstanding performers and audience members together onstage for a special evening of great food and exceptional entertainment. Share an evening with one hundred fellow audience members as you are seated onstage in an intimate performance setting and enjoy a three course catered meal as part of your ticket price.