A classically trained vocalist, Mary Ellen made her professional debut in 1988 by performing operatic arias at Philadelphia art openings. Simultaneously she was pursuing an interest in Country & Western music by singing with local bands of this genre for five years, until she settled in her niche within the jazz repertoire. Her father played guitar and banjo in society orchestras featuring popular and jazz standards during the 1940s and 1950s and as a child she grew up listening to this music around the house. She has been performing professionally as a jazz vocalist for over twenty years and considers herself very fortunate to be working with accomplished Philadelphia-based jazz musicians such as pianist Tom Lawton, bassist Lee Smith, tenor sax men Larry McKenna & Robert "Bootsie" Barnes, guitarist Michael Kennedy, and trumpeter John Swana.
Originally from Westfield, NJ, Philadelphia has been her home for nearly thirty years