ellen cherry is a song and story Alchemist, musician, designer, artist, producer, recording engineer, and human.
Emmy nominated singer/songwriter ellen cherry (lowercase letters intentional!) is a full-time touring and working performer based in Baltimore, MD. In 2018, ellen presents a new touring project called "Portraits in Song" that marries her love of storytelling and her passion for history through songs and portraits of interesting women in history. In 2016, she released new recorded works (Portraits, The Thread) as a follow up to the very intimate, piano-based album entitled Please Don’t Sell the Piano (2012). ellen was a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence and 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. ellen tours nationally and internationally, charming audiences from house concerts to festivals!
Baltimore based songwriter and performer, ellen cherry (lowercase letters intentional) has recorded and released original music continuously since 1997. Songwriter-in-Residence for the New Day Campaign (an arts-based initiative that challenges the stigma associated with mental and behavioral health) in 2015, cherry created new works centered around and stemming from her experience with PTSD (a side-effect of a tour-stopping car wreck in 2013.) In 2015, she was awarded both a Ruby Grant and a Puffin Foundation Grant to fund her work on a short film of and an original score for the puppet-crankie show “The Holey Land” (created by the artist Valeska Populoh.) In March 2016, cherry debuted her most recent history-based project, “Portraits in Song,” which is a live performance piece and companion recording, “Portraits,” featuring 11 projected portraits of women (created by the artist Liz Downing), with accompanying context and original story-songs that highlight the struggles and accomplishments of women.
In 2013, cherry established a live-streaming performance and interview program featuring Baltimore musicians called “Listen In with ellen cherry.” The webcast ran for two successful seasons (available for free on her website.) In 2012, she released her newest and most intimate work yet, a piano-based album produced by Caleb Stine, entitled "Please Don't Sell the Piano.” cherry was a Strathmore Artist-in-Residence in 2012, and a 2011 Baker Artist Award winner (including the inaugural Semmes G. Walsh special music prize). In 2009, ellen composed an original score for Nana Project's shadow puppet piece, "Alzonzo's Lullaby,” inspired by the true story of a circus train wreck south of Chicago, in 1918. The piece was awarded one of the most prestigious puppetry awards, the UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence. In 2012, ellen premiered another original composition to compliment Nana Projects' newest work, "Eureka!"
With fellow Baltimore based jazz musician/writer Sandy Asirvatham, ellen was co-producer (and is the visual alchemist for the artistic and visual presence and live performances of the project) of "Mobtown Moon," a genre-defying new interpretation of Pink Floyd's classic, "Dark Side of the Moon,” which was released as a cd in time for the 40th anniversary, in 2013, and features some of Baltimore's finest working musicians from all musical corners. cherry also co-produced a massive live performance of the album, in its entirety, that same year.
ellen also wrote, performed and recorded an original song commissioned by the FOX Networks that was nominated for an Emmy in 2010. She served on the Board of Directors for the Monarch Academy, a Baltimore City Public Charter School in an effort to satiate her passion for education and help further the idea of arts integration learning in Public Schools from 2011-2015. 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 founded her own studio and label, Wrong Size Shoes, in 2004.
Mixing equal parts of pathos and humor throughout her songs, ellen cherry is mysterious and powerful on stage and her banter gives audiences a peek into a whimsical, curious mind. She seamlessly fuses her love of History, Poetry, and Literature with the Usual Suspects of Love, Loss, and Despair, with a powerful, commanding voice and skill on both guitar and piano.
Ruby Grant Awardee, Media Arts (2015-2016)
Puffin Foundation Awardee, Environmental Issues (2015-2016)
Songwriter-in-Residence, The New Day Campaign (2015-2016)
Opened for Donovan at Montgomery College (September 2014)
Artist in Residence at the Studios of Key West (April 2014)
co-produced Mobtown Moon, a collaborative re-imaging of Pink Floyd’s masterwork, “The Dark Side of the Moon” involving over 70 Baltimore based musicians and artists; audio recording (released May 2013) and live performance at Goucher College (September 2013)
Washington Area Music Award for Best Pop/Rock Recording for “Please Don’t Sell the Piano” (February 2013)
Producer and host of performance/interview webcast “Listen In with ellen cherry” (2013-present)
Artist-in-Residence, Strathmore Music Center (February 2012)
Served on Board of Directors for Monarch Academy of Baltimore City, a public charter school (2011-2015)
Top 20 record on folk radio in 2011 with (New) Years
#8 in Top 20 albums in 2011 for WMNF, 88.5 FM, Tampa, FL
Artist-in-Residence, Maryland Historical Society (April 2011-April 2012)
Commissioned by Nana Projects to compose and perform original score for shadow puppet piece entitled "Eureka!" (2011)
Baker Artist Award "b" grant Winner (2011)
"(New) Years" finalist in the Indie Acoustic Project's "Best CDs of 2010" awards (2011)
Semmes G. Walsh Award for Music (additional Baker Award, 2011)
Music Director and house band for "O Little Town of Baltimore! Stoop Storytelling Series Live Radio Program", (December 2010)
Co-producer and Artistic Director for "Mobtown Moon: Baltimore's Journey to the Dark Side" (April 2010-April 2014)
"We Are Baltimore" is nominated for an Emmy Award (2010)
"Alonzo's Lullaby" awarded prestigious national puppetry award, the UNIMA-USA Citation of Excellence (2010)
Teaching Artist Fellow for Young Audiences of Maryland (2010)
Commissioned by FOX Networks to write, record and perform a news promotional campaign entitled "We Are Baltimore" (2009)
Commissioned by Nana Projects to compose and perform original score for shadow puppet piece entitled "Alonzo's Lullaby" (2009)
Commissioned by LOUD Video to compose original score for documentary film "Happy/S.A.H.D." (2009)
Awarded Maryland State Arts Council Grant for Music Composition (2009)
Awarded Maryland State Arts Council Grant for Solo Vocal Performance (2007)
Founded Wrong Size Shoes Recording Studio (2004)
Portraits (March 2016)
The Thread: ellen cherry and Steve Dawson (May 2016)
“The Holey Land: An Allegory” Original Score (2015)
Mobtown Moon (2013)
Please Don’t Sell the Piano (2012)
"Eureka!" Original Score (2011)
(New) Years (2010)
"Alonzo's Lullaby" Original Score (2009)
heart like a lion (2008)
re*dress: songs from the film "For the Want of a Queen" (2005)
the dizzy pleasure club (2004)
the ellen cherry primer (2002)
Waste of Time (2000)
Scored and recorded original soundtracks to two independent films, "Not Another Tolkien Movie" (2005) and "For the Want of a Queen" (2006)
Licensed album Years (2005) to Oxygen Network, MTV, and Soap.net Network for the following programs: MTV: Road Rules, Human Giant, My Super Sweet 16, Scarred, Bad Girls Club, and Breakers
Successful College Radio Promotion on 200 stations for “Years” in 2007 through Tinderbox Music
Shared the stage with Donovan, Boyz II Men, Jackson Browne, pAt mAcdonald (Timbuk 3), Jane Wiedlin (The Go Gos), Amy Speace, Landon Pigg, The Rescues, Glenn Tilbrook (of Squeeze), Allison Moorer, Caleb Stine, Mary Fahl, Keith Sykes, Shannon McNally, and countless other touring performers and musicians.
Performing throughout Mid-Atlantic area and tours through US from 1996-present