The Elegant Ella Gahnt (rhymes with "DuPont"), Jazz vocalist and arranger, has been performing professionally since the age of 18 and is finally living her dream by performing the songs she loves. Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, she has studied piano, voice, guitar, saxophone, and music theory at Granoff, Settlement Music schools, and PCPA - now University of The Arts, and continues private instruction with her husband Leon Mitchell - composer, arranger, vocal coach, and musical director of The Philadelphia Legends of Jazz Orchestra.
Ella has worked as vocalist and music copyist on recordings with many popular artists like Grover Washington, Jr., The Stylistics, and Pieces of a Dream. She was founder/leader, lead and background vocalist, and arranger for Instruments and Voices, an excellent pop/jazz group that performed in the Philadelphia area in the late 70s. Ella has performed as jazz vocalist throughout the East Coast with many fine jazz groups led by Sam Reed, Cullen Knight, Tony Williams, Sam Dockery, Butch Ballard, Gerald Smith, Roger Prieto, and her own E.G. Trio/Quartet. Ella performed at the CoreStates "Philly Divas of Jazz, Poetry and Comedy" concert with several of Philly's finest Jazz vocalists. She performed at the PECO Energy "Jazz 'til Sunrise" Festival, and at an outstanding self-produced concert entitled "Just Us" along with vocalist Pearl Williams at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia, PA. Ella and her trio performed a memorable concert in the Perelman Theatre of the famed Kimmel Center during their Summer Solstice Celebration. In March 2005, Ella was named "Jazz Ambassador" by the School District of Philadelphia along with her husband Leon Mitchell.
Ella has appeared at the quintessential Zanzibar Blue, Sofitel Hotel, Glen Foerd on The Delaware, Annenberg Zellerbach Theatre in Philadelphia, and in concert at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, and Haverford College, Haverford, PA. For 2 years, she appeared on both the Bell Atlantic and Mellon Jazz Festivals. Ella performed in the "Scatfight" at The Philadelphia Clef Club, and at the Tony Williams Scholarship Jazz Festival.
Ella is the vocalist with the Philadelphia Legends of Jazz Orchestra which was featured on the 2000 and 2001 Mellon Jazz Festivals, the 2004 Smithsonian Institution's Jazz Appreciation Month Celebration at the Clef Club, the 2004 Collingswood, NJ "Jazz In The Wood" Festival, and the 2004 through 2009 West Oak Lane Jazz Festivals in Philadelphia. In 2006, Ella also performed stellar full concerts at the James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, PA, "Art After 5" Series at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Allens Lane Art Center, Cape May Jazz Festival, the Painted Bride Art Center, The Historic Chicken Bone Beach Jazz Festival, the Morrisville Jazz Festival, the Coltrane Tenor Love Jazz Festival, and the Kutcher's Country Club in Monticello, NY. Ella has also appeared with the Clef Club Community Jazz Band at the Clef Club in Philadelphia & Dante's Hall Theatre of The Arts in Atlantic City, NJ. This past March, Ella appered as special guest with Eddie Bruce and his Trio at the Moshulu on The Delaware. This past May, Ella & her Trio performed for Mayor Michael Nutter's Centenarian Celebration acknowledging over 100 living Centenarians in Philadelphia. Ella will be performing concerts in various locations in the Tri-State area with her Trio including a headliner spot in July as part of the "Jazz On The Beach" Series in Atlantic City.
All of these associations give Ella the chance to blend with different sounds and tell musical stories in her own unique way while honoring the vocal styles of those great divas who trod the path before her like Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McCrae, Betty Carter, Billie Holiday, and her namesake, Ella Fitzgerald.
Many consider Ella the country’s best kept secret, which she hopes to change soon. Both CD documentation of Ella’s lovely voice - “By Request” and "Immaculate Union" are still in rotation on WRTI-FM Temple Public Radio in Philadelphia, PA. Look out for the Elegant Ms. Ella Gahnt -- She's traveling at the speed of swing!
For more information on Ella's CDs, visit
www.cdbaby.com/ellagahnt2 for "By Request"
for "Immaculate Union," Ella's 1st CD with The Dr. Jay Trio
Leon Mitchell, Personal Manager (215) 763-2819
Back to Home Page