The second place winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition in 2002, Ellis has established himself as one of New York’s premier tenor saxophonists, working with artists as diverse as John Patitucci, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Miguel Zenón, Darcy James Argue, Charlie Hunter, and Sting. His discography lists more than 100 album credits as a sideman, with more than a dozen released in 2014 alone.
Ellis has released nine albums as a leader, three of those featuring his urban carnival band Double-Wide, which has toured extensively and was featured at the Newport Jazz Festival and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. While his presence on countless recordings and stages attests to the esteem in which Ellis is held by his peers, he’s also received numerous more official accolades. He was the recipient of three composition grants through The Jazz Gallery for his collaborations with playwright Andy Bragen (“Dreamscapes”, “The Ice Siren”, and “MOBRO”) and was selected as the 2014 Make Jazz Fellow.