Ermelinda Cuellar is a new voice in the Houston area Jazz scene. Her style is light-hearted and playful. Most people describe her voice as smooth and mellow. Her sound is a fusion of Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O’Day, Jane Monheit, Emilie Clair Barlow and Diana Krall. She sings songs from the Great American Song book and throws in bossa novas and blues for extra spice. She is currently creating a new theatre project based on her mothers childhood stories which will premiere in the Fall of 2012 at MECA.
Ermelinda graduated from The Moores School of Music where she majored in Opera Performance. She was fortunate enough to get work with different Opera apprentice programs in the US, such as Opera Carolina, Natchez Opera, Inspiration Point, Ashlawn Opera Festival and the Houston Grand Opera’s outreach program “Opera to Go”.
What got her interested in Jazz? “ Mere curiosity. I have been singing Opera for most of my life and I was always drawn to the musical theatre songs, many of which were from the Great American Song Book, unbeknownst to me at the time. A few years ago I heard of a program called “Jazz on the move” by the Jazz Institute. They were offering classes on different aspects of jazz performance, so I decided to go and see what I could learn about this art-form.. Well, that was the catalyst for me; I was hooked. I decided to take lessons in jazz theory and jazz piano lessons from Paul English. I then joined the Jazz Ensemble under the tutelage of Bob Henschen and started to learn about repertoire, communicating with the band, arranging and composition.”
Ms. Cuellar can be seen performing around town at different venues. Past venues included Legend Jazz Café, The Fedora Lounge, The Blackwell Steakhouse and Hughes Hanger. She currently has gigs lined up at Khon’s Wine Bar and Last Concert Café.