Trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso started playing professionally in and around Detroit, Michigan where he was born in 1964. Jon began early, playing in a big band at age 11, in the International Youth Symphony at age 13, and in a concert alongside cornetist Wild Bill Davison at age 17. Kellso played with a wide variety of groups there, including the J.C. Heard Orchestra.
In '88 Jon-Erik joined James Dapogny's Chicago Jazz Band with whom he's made appearances throughout North America, concertized on PBS TV, and recorded extensively.
Since moving to New York City in 1989 to join Vince Giordano's Nighthawks, Jon has enjoyed performing and recording with the likes of Ralph Sutton, Dan Barrett, Howard Alden, Marty Grosz, Milt Hinton, Bob Haggart, Dick Hyman, Catherine Russell, Linda Ronstadt, Leon Redbone, Levon Helm, Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Ken Peplowski, Bob Wilbur, and Kenny Davern.
Recent engagements include a week in Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola with Wynton Marsalis celebrating Louis Armstrong's Hot 5s and 7s; leading the EarRegulars at the Detroit Jazz Fest and Moab Music Fest; various appearances on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" live Public Radio International show, including a live cinecast to movie theaters everywhere with Elvis Costello; several jazz fest at sea cruises; concerts at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with John Lithgow; tours of the U.S. and Japan with Ken Peplowski's Kingdom of Swing big band; annual appearances in jazz clubs and festivals in New Orleans; and jazz parties, festivals, and concerts all over the world.
At home in New York City Kellso has been leading The EarRegulars featuring guitarist Matt Munisteri and various guest artists at the Ear Inn on Sunday nights since 2007. On Mondays and Tuesdays Jon plays with Vince Giordano's Nighthawks at Iguana on West 54th Street. Aside from these steadies, Jon can also be seen performing at all the great NYC venues, including Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Birdland, the Blue Note, the Iridium, the Jazz Standard, Small's, etc.
Jon-Erik can be heard on several television and movie soundtracks, including “Ghost World,” "The Aviator," "The Good Shepherd," and "Revolutionary Road" with Vince Giordano's Nighthawks. He was on screen in "Revolutionary Road," and can also be seen and heard in the current HBO series, "Boardwalk Empire."
Jon is on well over a hundred CDs, including five as a leader and three with Ruby Braff. Jon pays tribute to Braff on his "Remembering Ruby" CD, on Gen-Erik Records. His latest Arbors release, "Blue Roof Blues: A Love Letter to New Orleans," is dedicated to Jon's friends in the Crescent City and all those affected by Hurricane Katrina.