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Gretchen Elise

Gretchen Elise is a Philadelphia- based singer-songwriter whose passion for life and the unexpected engages listeners and audiences. Flirting with reggae, soul, hip hop and dance music while grounded in her jazz-based passionate, lyrical voice, her songs tell compelling stories guided by undivided attention to a good groove. Wawa (BMI/2020) ("soca-rific" - Dosage Magazine), Time & Space (BMI/2010) and Are You Ready (BMI/2004) deliver exactly what listeners crave: good music.

Introduced to piano and elementary school vocal and bell choirs, Gretchen turned to dance, competitive gymnastics and choreography as her focus through college, but knee injuries encouraged her to pick a different career path and to re-embrace music. Gretchen’s compositions are colored by a childhood spent listening to Philadelphia popular jazz and R & B radio and broadened by years living in Norway and Germany and her fluent absorption of 5 languages (French, Spanish, German, Norwegian, English). Cutting her chops in the 1990’s singing in Berlin, Germany with a World Music Orchestra and jazz combos, she traversed through Boston based Brazilian & jazz groups, introducing her music in jazz, neo soul and deep house circles. Gretchen also brings her past immersion both in European dance music and Boston’s deep soulful house to the authentic mix of her music.

Her 2010 full-length CD recording “Time & Space” expands the catchy songwriting style of her first, more jazz-based CD into realms informed by European-flavored electronic music and deep, soulful house. “Time & Space” features musicians from Camden, N.J., Philadelphia and Boston. Released when she was 7 months pregnant with her second child, the

Gretchen recorded her first EP,, “Are you Ready,” in 2004 in collaboration with some of Boston’s best jazz and world musicians, yielding a “signature blend of jazz, R & B, world and hip hop” (Boston Globe). Gretchen combines a career as an arts educator with her own musical ambitions. After graduating from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education in 2006, Gretchen returned to her native Philadelphia region, this time as an advocate for more arts in Philadelphia schools. “Time & Space/ Human race/ We’ve got to face/ Long way to go” — this is about how I feel about us as humans,” Gretchen shares of the title track of her 2010 release. “But we better have fun...and there better be a good groove while we’re getting ourselves down the long road to a better place.” Her own performances – as much about audience interaction as about personal expression – give audiences a part-concert atmosphere and part- town hall meeting vibe.

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“signature blend of jazz, R & B, world and hip hop” (Boston Globe).



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Independent Release


Time & Space

Independent Release


Are You Ready

Independent Release



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