The Sydney Ellis Quintet
blues, jazz, soul, gospel
This powerhouse singer says she has almost an obsession to continue her cultural heritage that the world calls blues, jazz, soul and gospel. She calls it African-American folk music.
Born in Virginia and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Sydney Ellis started to sing in public quite late at 40. But once she opened the gate, she released a flood that has so far produced four strong roots
albums. The mother of five likes to sing the blues by Bessie Smith, Jimmy Reed, Reverend Gary Davis and Muddy Waters, the ballads of Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington, some soul and old
gospel, but has recently also written her own material. And harmless la-de-da it is not. The new single Bushwacker Blues was born in the election atmosphere. It names several Bush administration politicians
and recounts their lies and hypocrisies vividly reminding us that the idea of the blues originally was to tell it like it is. It’s great to see somebody still doing that.