Artist: Ellen Powell

Ellen Powell's name may be familiar to jazz enthusiasts as she has been a bass-playing fixture on locals stages for several years. She now adds art photography to her repertoire with several framed and unframed pieces on display at Staart. Ellen will be one of the featured artists in the upcoming reception to be held on August 22nd. More details on that soon…

"Ellen Powell grew up in rural Massachusetts and came to Vermont in the summers of her childhood. She made Vermont her permanent home in 1969 at the age of nineteen, and over the years she lived in the southern, central, and northern rural areas of the state. She settled down in Chittenden County in 1985 and currently resides in S. Burlington. Music has always been a part of her life. She studied piano formally for 15 years in her childhood and sang with her high school chorus in Symphony Hall in Boston several times. After arriving in Vermont she learned banjo and played professionally in central Vermont. She became a professional singer for a few years in the 1970s. She eventually became a jazz bassist, mostly self-taught. In 1989 she studied jazz bass with master bassist Cecil McBee in New York City for a year, funded by a study grant from the National Foundation for the Arts. She was a founder of and has played in all Burlington Discover Jazz Festivals and her jazz group was featured on NPR’s Jazz Set. She currently plays Thursdays with the best area jazz musicians at Leunigs Bistro in Burlington. For thirty years and probably before that, Ellen has been seeing “great shots” all over the place and it has been one of her dreams to take pictures. Using the format of film in photography was beyond her means. She would have wanted to learn the dark room and while she was busy building her career as a jazz bassist, there was no time for anything else, so photography was put on hold. Then came the onset of digital cameras. Ellen finally bought herself a little point+shoot digital camera in May 2007 and began taking pictures, having a great time. From seeing images on serious photography websites, she soon learned about Digital SLR cameras and in August she got herself one. She took a course in photography and has been joyfully clicking away ever since."

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