ellen cherry is a singer, songwriter, musician, designer, artist, producer, recording engineer, human.
Emmy-nominated Song & Story Alchemist, ellen cherry (lowercase letters intentional!) is a full-time touring and working performer based in Baltimore, MD. Mixing equal parts of pathos and humor throughout her songs, cherry’s banter gives audiences a peek into a whimsical, curious mind--all expressed with a singular voice and skill on both guitar and piano.
In 2013, while on tour, cherry was hit by a criminally intoxicated driver and survived a traumatic car wreck. After 6 years of physical and existential recovery, cherry has begun work on a new performance piece about the process of recovery entitled "Recovering Eurydice" and is due to premiere in late 2020. As Songwriter-in-Residence for the New Day Campaign in 2015, cherry created new works centered around and stemming from her experience with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and recovery. In 2015, she was awarded both a Ruby Grant and a Puffin Foundation Grant to fund her work on a short film of and her original score for the puppet-crankie show The Holey Land which was created by the artist Valeska Populoh. In March 2016, cherry debuted "Portraits in Song," a live performance piece that combined her love of storytelling and her passion for feminism and history. The companion recording, Portraits, featured 11 portraits of women--created by the artist Liz Downing--with accompanying context and original story-songs that highlighted some of the struggles and accomplishments of women. A reviewer described cherry’s performance as a “glimpse through a portal into a vast emotional galaxy of complex understanding.” The show was retired in March 2018.
She has been making recorded works since 1997, and continues to tour nationally and internationally, charming audiences from house concerts to festivals. cherry was an Artist-in-Residence at The Studios of Key West (2014) and Strathmore (2012). She was Songwriter-in-Residence for the New Day Campaign (2015), an arts initiative to combat stigma associated with mental illness and addiction. cherry co-produced Mobtown Moon, a re-imagining of Dark Side of the Moon (2013) that featured over 50 musicians from Baltimore. In 2010, she wrote, recorded and performed a song for an Emmy nominated TV campaign and also composed the score for a shadow puppet piece entitled Alonzo’s Lullaby, which has been awarded the prestigious UNIMA Citation of Excellence and jump-started years of continuing work with puppeteers. Since 2017, she co-produces, with songwriter Andrew Grimm, a podcast that examines fame and celebrity from a working musician’s viewpoint, called “Why Aren’t You Famous?”
To support the idea of arts integration learning in Public Schools, cherry served on the Board of Directors for the Monarch Academy, a Baltimore City Public Charter School from 2011 to 2015. She has been awarded a Baker Artist Award b-grant and the Semmes G. Walsh Prize for Music (2011), Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards for Vocal Performance (2007), and Music Composition (2009), and Non-Classical Music Composition (2018), and founded her own studio and label, Wrong Size Shoes, in 2004. She has also completed over ten open-water, long distance swim races; her most recent race was a 6-mile swim in Miami, FL (2019).