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Duration: 120 Minutes

Jazz Originals: The Elvis Goes Jazz Project

From Mark Kelso, creator of The Elvis Goes Jazz Project: 

In February of 2022, Oliver Vadas (Organizer of the West End Jazz Festival) contacted me regarding playing drums for a project of classic Elvis Presley tunes done in a jazz format. Being an Elvis fan myself, I was intrigued by this possibility. The original arranger had to suddenly remove himself from the project due to a family emergency, so I ended up taking on the arranging duties myself. For the first performance I was able to put together 18 classic Elvis tunes, spanning the 1950’s to the 1970’s, using the big band styles of Frank Sinatra, some New Orleans grooves, and Afro-Cuban rhythms. What an interesting mix! For me, the main focus was to change the songs in a way that would make them interesting to a jazz listener (and the musicians playing) but without being disrespectful to the original songs and melodies. All and all, with these fabulous players, I think we have succeeded in doing just that!


Mark Kelso (drums, leader, arranger), David Statham (lead vocals), Colleen Allen (tenor sax), Michael Occhipinti (guitar), Kevin Turcotte (trumpet), Mike Downes (acoustic bass), Ewen Farncombe (piano), Karen Thornton (host) – Click on Karen’s name for her bio

The Elvis Goes Jazz Project – Bios

Sponsored by Next Steps Planning with IPC Securities 

Sponsored by incite Foundation for the Arts