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Elli Fordyce: Bio

A Significant Setback

Originally from Manhattan, Elli Fordyce is a highly accomplished vocalist and actor. She has performed all over the New York Metro area and throughout North America, including appearances in the New York Cabaret Convention and in festivals. Elli also has numerous acting credits, including the film "September 12th," Comedy Central's "Chappelle's Show" and a theatrical production of "Guys and Dolls."

Elli spent several periods away from New York until 1979 and, more to the point, away from her musical journey until the 1990s. During her first exile she devoted herself to family. The next period of inactivity began suddenly and unexpectedly. While on-the-road, traveling to a gig with her quartet and their equipment, her car crashed into a disabled truck on a snowy highway. It was devastating and a successful year-long tour of "Elli Fordyce And Her Favorite Things" ended abruptly, leaving behind scars of several kinds.


An Inevitable Comeback

Elli stopped singing for 15 years ("Not even 'Happy Birthday,' not in the shower," Elli relates) to focus on physical and spiritual healing. But this journey was not over. Along came a ginger-colored Yorkie puppy whom Elli named Dindi (pronounced Gingy, it means "little jewel" in Portuguese) after a favorite Antonio Carlos Jobim bossa nova. When Elli saw how much Dindi loved hearing "her" song, Elli soon found herself returning to singing. Inspiration renewed, she joined a cabaret workshop taught by the brilliant award-winning singer/songwriter Lina Koutrakos. Soon after, Elli came under the influence of Barry Harris, the renowned jazz pianist/educator to whom she gives much of the credit for putting her squarely on the path, making her comeback inevitable.


The Real Meaning of Cool

Something_StillCoolCDcoversmaller1.jpgAnd come back she has! Her first CD, "Something Still Cool," became an overnight sensation, pulling in glowing reviews. Bill Gish speaking for Jazz Improv New York:

"Whatever the term means, you know it when you hear it. And Elli Fordyce is cool! As implied in the title: once cool, always cool, vintage cool. Ms. Fordyce has the spirit and voice of one of the blessed, the spirit and stamina of eternal song."

Brad Walseth for JazzChicago.net:

"Fordyce's voice is lovely with strong command, a natural rhythmic touch and just a touch of a rough edge. Scatting with aplomb, she also shows a knack for the south-of-the-border sound: a true showcase for a singer whom one wishes would have never had to give up singing for so long—but better late than never. She doesn't sing by rote and her vocal ideas are full of imagination and personality—but neither does she detract from the beauty of the melody. It is clear that Elli Fordyce knows the real meaning of 'cool.'"


Critical Praise Pours In

Brad Walseth for JazzChicago.net:

"Fordyce's voice is lovely with strong command, a natural rhythmic touch and just a touch of a rough edge. Scatting with aplomb, she also shows a knack for the south-of-the-border sound: a true showcase for a singer whom one wishes would have never had to give up singing for so long—but better late than never. She doesn't sing by rote and her vocal ideas are full of imagination and personality—but neither does she detract from the beauty of the melody. It is clear that Elli Fordyce knows the real meaning of 'cool.'"

Dr. Mike of RadioIO.com, speaking directly to Elli:

"I am enjoying your music so much! Your CD was a great surprise for me. I always love discovering great talent for our audience. They're very lucky to have your new tracks for their enjoyment at radioIO."

Dr. Mike of RadioIO.com, speaking directly to Elli:

"I am enjoying your music so much! Your CD was a great surprise for me. I always love discovering great talent for our audience. They're very lucky to have your new tracks for their enjoyment at radioIO."

Read dozens more accolades and reviews honoring Elli Fordyce's work here.


The Recording Academy Takes Notice

Soon after the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC) nominated "Something Still Cool" for best jazz album, word began to spread about a second CD, "Songs Spun Of Gold." Available now at http://cdbaby.com/ellifordyce2, "Songs Spun of Gold" garnered Grammy attention, receiving six Pre-Nominations, and got another MAC nod—this time a nomination in the Best Recording category. To quote the then-73-year-old jazz vocalist: "WOW! Well, it's never too late!"



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Acting Resume

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