Trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso started playing professionally in and around Detroit, Michigan where he was born in 1964. Jon began early, playing in a big band at age 11, in the International Youth Symphony at age 13, and in a concert alongside cornetist Wild Bill Davison at age 17. Kellso played with a wide variety of groups there, including the J.C. Heard Orchestra.
In ’88 Jon-Erik joined James Dapogny’s Chicago Jazz Band with whom he’s made appearances throughout North America, concertized on PBS TV, and recorded extensively, including a recent CD with Maria Muldaur entitled Naughty, Bawdy, and Blue, and a DVD with her as well.
Since moving to New York City in 1989 to join Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, Jon has enjoyed performing and recording with the likes of Ralph Sutton, Dan Barrett, Howard Alden, Marty Grosz, Milt Hinton, Bob Haggart, Dick Hyman, Linda Ronstadt, Banu Gibson, Leon Redbone, Levon Helm, Wynton Marsalis, Ken Peplowski, Bob Wilber, and Kenny Davern.
Recent engagements include a tour of Brazil with pianist Judy Carmichael; various appearances on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion Public Radio International show, including one with Elvis Costello cinecast live to movie theaters everywhere ; several jazz fest at sea cruises; concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with John Lithgow; tours of the U.S. and Japan with Ken Peplowski’s Kingdom of Swing big band; annual appearances in jazz clubs and festivals in New Orleans; and jazz parties, festivals, and concerts all over the world.
At home in New York Kellso has been leading the EarRegulars with guitarist Matt Munisteri and various guest artists at the Ear Inn on Sunday nights for over three years. On Mondays and Tuesdays Jon plays with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks at the Club Cache’ in the Hotel Edison. He can also often be seen on Wednesdays, 5:30-7:15, at Birdland with David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Centennial Band. Aside from these steadies, Jon can also be seen performing at all the great NYC venues, including Small’s, Dizzy’s, the Blue Note, the Iridium, the Jazz Standard, etc.
Jon-Erik can be heard on several television and movie soundtracks, including Ghost World, The Aviator, The Good Shepherd, and Revolutionary Road with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks. He was on screen in Revolutionary Road, and can also be seen and heard in the new HBO series, Boardwalk Empire.
Jon has recorded several times on Arbors Records, including three CDs as a leader and some with cornet great Ruby Braff. Jon pays tribute to Braff on his new Remembering Ruby CD, on Gen-Erik Records. His most recent Arbors release, Blue Roof Blues: A Love Letter to New Orleans, is dedicated to Jon’s friends in the Crescent City and all those affected by Hurricane Katrina.