By: Jessi Gowan, Rockview Weekly
Calgary artist Ellen Doty’s jazz roots have been an important part of her musical style since her first performance at the age of five. Now, with a debut album and a 46-stop Canadian tour under her belt, Doty will be bringing her unique style to Redwood House on April 9 as part of the Bragg Creek Performing Arts series.
“My mother was a choir director for a church, so I got my start in music when I was really young,” Doty said. “When I was five, I auditioned for the youth talent show at the Calgary Stampede. I got into that and performed there for a few years.”
Music is an important part of Doty’s history, she said. Her grandmother lived across the street from jazz legend Nat King Cole in Los Angeles, and according to Doty, the love of jazz was passed down to her through her father.
“That’s always been a constant in my life, and those jazz greats like Nat King Cole have really inspired me,” she said. “But I listen to a lot of other influences too, folk and pop and soul, and I love incorporating all of those genres into my music.”
Being able to share her music with people has been an incredible experience, Doty said. Thanks to the Internet, Doty said she is able to access listeners around the world – and perform for live audiences here at home.
“It’s amazing to be able to create a connection with the audience, to share things that are really personal to me and feel a response from other people,” she said. “I think, at a concert, you really go on a journey with people. You take them through some sad, emotional pieces to really happy moments. You talk about love and about things that matter to you, and you hope that other people will be able to connect and relate to those things, too.”
Currently, Doty said she is working on her second album. According to Doty, the process of writing music and recording it is a “wonderful” experience, and she’s excited to get back into the studio to start recording.
“Music has this amazing power and ability to connect with so many people on so many levels – emotionally, or through storytelling,” she said. “It can change your mood, your thoughts, make you cry, make you laugh, and I think that’s really what keeps me interested. There’s always something new that can be experienced through music.”
Ellen Doty will be opening for David Myles on April 9 at Redwood House, presented by Bragg Creek Performing Arts.