Mary Ellen Desmond
Originally from Westfield, NJ, Mary Ellen has made Philadelphia her home and has been performing professionally as a vocalist, in and around the area, for the past twenty years, while accepting occasional invitations to perform in Japan. Classically trained, she is recognized as a crossover artist covering a variety of styles and repertoires. Her primary focus is jazz. She attended The Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, and also studied privately with operatic soprano Judith Rosenfeld, Grammy nominated jazz vocalist Janet Lawson, and Philadelphia's own premier vocalist Anne Sciolla. Ms. Desmond currently teaches on the vocal faculty of Philadelphia's University of the Arts School of Music and Community College of Philadelphia. She performs regularly in the Philadelphia area at clubs, churches, concerts, and private functions. She can be heard performing with pianists Tom Lawton, Bill Schilling, and Lucas Brown, guitarist Michael Kennedy, bassist Lee Smith, and tenor sax greats Larry McKenna and Robert "Bootsie" Barnes. She is active as a program and music coordinator for fund raising concerts most notably her self conceived annual holiday jazz program Comfort & Joy, which raises money for lives affected by AIDS and HIV through the Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany in Center City , Philadelphia. She was also the program director and music coordinator for the same church's fund raising effort , Fine & Mellow : A Tribute to Billie Holiday Concert , of October 2009. Her debut CD recording Darn That Dream was chosen as a 1998 Top Ten Critics' Pick in Cadence Magazine. Her second release , A Tribute to Peggy Lee & Rosemary Clooney , was recorded with Philadelphia vocalist Meg Clifton, and granted them the opportunity to perform along with Linda Ronstadt at The Annual Rosemary Clooney Music Festival in Ms. Clooney's home town of Maysville, KY in 2004.