By: Karleen Samson, 17th Ave Calgary Blog
Don’t let that big smile and tall, quirky demeanor fool you – Ellen Doty is one of Calgary’s most soulful jazz vocalists and songwriters. Hailing from Okotoks, this Geology Major took the leap to follow her passion a few years ago and hasn’t looked back since.
2014 was a huge success for Ellen. She released her much-anticipated first full album “Gold”, which broke the top ten on several jazz charts in Canada. Hot on the heels of her critically acclaimed debut album, Ellen embarked on a 30 city, 46 stop Canadian tour enchanting audiences across the country with show stopping performances. 2015 was even bigger as she set her sites on releasing her sophomore album and toured internationally, which included a show in New York City with acclaimed jazz drummer, David Mancini. Released in April 2015 was her first single from her upcoming album “Just So You Know” and we can’t wait to hear what she’s got up her sleeve next.
Along the Ave you may have seen her perform at Cleaver, and you can often catch Ellen grabbing a coffee at Analog before she settles in to write her latest inspiration.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Music definitely gets me up in the morning- literally and figuratively. My alarm clock blasts some of my favorite tunes to get me out of bed, and then I’m lucky to be able to work on music morning and night. I’m a pop-jazz vocalist and songwriter.
What projects are you involved with right now?
I am currently getting ready to record my second album, so that’s taking up the majority of my time. I’ve been lucky to collaborate with a number of songwriters to write music for this project including local musicians Danny Vacon (The Dudes), Josh Crowhurst, and Scott Mackay, as well as writers from Toronto, Vancouver, and the US. In Calgary, I also try to be active in helping those in need when I can. I recently did a concert for the wonderful folks at the drop-in centre, and put on a fundraiser called “Songs for Gracie” to help raise funds for a friend battling cancer.
What do you get up to when you’re on the Ave?
There are so many great things to do on 17th! I love having a coffee at Analog and sitting at a window seat to do some writing. I also love perusing the many cool shops and visiting my friends at Kit and Ace or Less 17. There are so many great dinner spots, but some of my favorites are Ox and Angela, Pigeonhole, and Cleaver. And of course, ending the night off with a drink at the Ship (and even some live music) is always awesome.
What is your best-kept 17th Ave secret?
Nori Crumpets from Pigeonhole.
Do you have a favourite memory along 17th Ave?
The Red Mile for the 2004 NHL Playoffs was pretty memorable! It was awesome to see the city come alive, and to see the Red Mile be born.
Favourite place to shop?
Kit and Ace is a fave.
Best place for a night out on 17th?
The Ship and Anchor.
What would you like to see on 17th in the future?
A music club on the Ave would be awesome!
What’s up next for you?
I’m getting ready to go on a West Coast tour at the end of the month that will include stops in Vancouver, Victoria, and Denman Island. Then I will be recording my second album this summer. Woo hoo!
Stay up-to-date on all things Ellen Doty by following her online: