70’s Music

Ellis Hall “The Ambassador of Soul” leaves symphony audiences worldwide wanting more

ELLIS            Photo credit: Peter Kind/Peter Arthur Photos

Ellis Hall is known as ‘The Ambassador of Soul” for many reasons.  Hall is a prolific singer, songwriter, and musician that plays every instrument, has a strong 5 octave vocal range and was the lead vocalist/keyboardist for soul-funk band Tower of Power. He performs with most elite symphony orchestras worldwide including: His first being the Hollywood Bowl under the direction of his mentor Ray Charles. Since then he has performed with prestigious 81-piece orchestras including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra with Marvin Hamlisch conducting to playing with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Symphony Orchestra, and most recently the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

 Ellis’ first orchestra concept show was “Ray, Motown and Beyond” featuring such hits as Motown’s Heard It Through the Grapevine and Tower of Power’s Some Days Were Meant for Rain. With the second half of the show paying tribute to Ray Charles featuring hit songs like, I Can’t Stop Loving You, Unchain My Heart, Hit the Road Jack, and Georgia on My Mind. In September 2016, he will debut his second show, “Soul Unlimited” (conducted by Jeff Tyzik) where he “Ellis-izes” songs from David Bowie’s Let’s Dance to Something by George Harrison (which Ellis recorded on his CD Straight Ahead featuring Billy Preston on organ).

Born in Savannah, Georgia and raised partly in Claxton, GA. Ellis has been blind since he was 18 years old, but that doesn’t stop him from is mission in life.  In fact, it has been the driving force behind the creation of a 3,800 songs catalog full of Soul, Gospel, Blues and Pop compositions. Among these works is the official song for his hometown of Claxton Georgia. He has worked along side other greats such as Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle, Toby Keith, Herbie Hancock, George Benson, Bobby Womack, George Duke, Sheila E., Kenny G and many more. In addition, he was one of the lead vocalists of the California Raisins.

Ellis has also successfully had his hand at Hollywood, recording and performing songs for live action and animated films such as “The Lion King 2,” “Shrek 2,” “Chicken Run,” “Invincible” and “Bruce Almighty”. The Ambassador has even taken acting roles in “Big Momma’s House” (Martin Lawrence) and the crime drama “Catch Me If You Can” (Leonardo DiCaprio). Along with all of these amazing films that he was a part of, Mr. Hall was nominated for an Ovation Theater Award for his first stage role in The Gospel At Colonus” where he not only sang and acted but also walked the stage and stair props with nearly no assistance.

Hall has a sense of humor which is uncanny, When people ask me about my blindness, I tell them, ‘I didn’t pay the electric bill on time…so they cut the lights out on me!’” Says Hall as he make fun of himself.

For more detailed information on the legendary Ellis Hall explore his website @ www.ellishall.com

 

Johnny Guitar Watson Celebration After 20 Years By JGW Estate to Benefit LAUSD Donating Musical Instruments Tuesday, May 17 @ Los Angeles Theatre Center

Johnny Guitar Wilson

Johnny Guitar Watson

Johnny Guitar Watson, one of the music industries most beloved guitarist was silenced by a massive heart attack in Yokohama, Japan while in the middle of one of his GRAMMY nominated songs “Superman Lover” on May 17, 1996.   Now it’s time to celebrate his legacy after 20 years, the 1st Annual Johnny Guitar Watson Heart for Music Foundation Celebration will be held on May 17, 2016 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles at 8 PM.

The star-studded celebration will include a host of celebrity guest and performances including; Lenny Williams, Raphael Sadiq, Marla Gibbs, Mary Wilson, David Ritz, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Holly Robinson Pete, YoYo and Kool Moe Dee, just to name a few.

The Red Carpet Event Begins At 7pm and Show Time at 8pm, with a VIP Reception immediately following the event, featuring an exhibit of artifacts belonging to the late Great Johnny Guitar Watson.

Watson’s daughter, actress, writer, producer Virginia Watson said, “I decided that the time had come to take the legacy of my father and find a way to help people in his name, so The Johnny Guitar Watson Heart For Music Foundation came to be”.Johnnyh Guitar Wilson

Johnny Guitar Watson was A Musicians Musician, A Mentor, Teacher, Trend Setter, and Innovator In Rock & Roll, R & B, Jazz, Funk, and Rap! He Made His Mark In These Genres With Unforgettable Style And Finesse And Even In His Passing His Music Is Still Reaching The Masses Through Sample, Cover And Sync Use. With His Latest Collaboration Being With Kanye West On His New Album/Cd Waves.

The Mission Of This 501c3 Foundation Is To Raise Money To Get Musical Instruments And Musical Support From Music Industry Professionals To Inner City Youth Through After School Programs Of Lausd And Non-Profit After School Programs Like YoYo’s School Of Hip Hop.

 

It is the dream of the Watson children to establish this foundation in honor of their father and to give back to the community something special in the arts that can inspire and support inner city youth and help to keep real music alive!

For Media RSVP, photos, media interviews and information contact:   Edna Sims, ESP Public Relations Tel: 310-770.8117 ~ espublicrelations@gmail.com