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Celebrating the Music of Judy Garland

March 9, 2018 20:00 to 23:00

Venue: Supper Club
Showtime: 8:00 pm
Doors open: 6:00 pm
$22 Advance, $28 Day of Show, All Ages, General Admission, Dining Reservations Required
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 250 piano and vocal arrangements note-for-note from classic recordings and copying/restoring missing pieces on several of Judy Garland’s original orchestrations. This intimate understanding of retro musical and vocal styles brings distinct freshness and authenticity to her interpretations of classic American standards. She was recently invited by Michael Feinstein to serve as Editor of the Judy Garland Carnegie Hall Concert Restoration Project for the Judy Garland Heirs Trust.

Last season, Joan made her NYC solo cabaret debut at Feinstein’s/54 Below in Get Happy! Judy Garland 1944-’54, of which Cabaret Scenes Magazine wrote: “New York deserves to see and hear more of Joan Ellison.” The show reprised at BLU Jazz+, The Bop Stop, and Nighttown. Other performances included a Sinatra & Garland Celebration with the Bemus Bay Pops Orchestra (NY), a “Swingin’ Holiday” concert with the Canton Symphony, “Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance” featuring Judy Garland songs with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra at Severance Hall, and an all-Garland concert with the Ohio Valley Symphony. January-February 2016 found her playing the role of Ms. Garland in the first U.S. professional regional production of The Boy From Oz at TheatreZone in Naples, FL, as well as reprising her show, Love Finds Judy Garland.

In July 2015, Joan released a critically-acclaimed second album, Retrophonic Gershwin, featuring her arrangements based on original recordings of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s. Recorded at Oberlin’s Clonick Hall and mixed and mastered by Grammy-winning engineer Robert Friedrich, it also features singer Mark Flanders and duo-pianists.

Joan made her Cleveland Pops Orchestra debut at Severance Hall in 2005 and has since sung more than 30 concerts with the Pops, Erie Philharmonic, Wheaton Pops, Enid Symphony, Canton Symphony, Bemus Bay Pops, Tuscarawas Philharmonic, Lakeside Symphony, Ohio Valley Symphony, and others in repertoire ranging from The King & I to Wicked.

In addition to touring the country with cabaret shows she co-created, Love Finds Judy Garland and Gershwin On the Air, Joan has played classic leading-lady roles in regional theatre, including 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 Minnelli when she came to town. She currently serves as the first Teacher of Popular Voice at The Cleveland Institute of Music and a Visiting Guest Artist (singing teacher) with the Case Western Reserve University/Cleveland Play House M.F.A. Acting Program. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association.

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