One of Dallas/Fort Worth’s premier piano players, Kent Ellingson’s work as a dynamic and versatile performer and inspiring educator has made a great mark in our musical establishment. Kent’s first love is jazz but he is also well versed in standards, Latin, pop and classical music. While well known as a single piano performer, he is also an accomplished vocal accompanist, determined to make a singer’s performance shine. As a result he is a favorite collaborator with singers of all types. His work with his wife Kay (also a Local 72-147 member) in their duo, The Kent and Kay Duo, is just one example of his success in this area. Kent has worked with many of the area’s best musicians at many venues in the area including Soho Food and Jazz, The Kitchen, Stoney’s Wine Lounge and Free Man Cajun Café in addition to being in demand for private parties and corporate gigs. Kent has appeared in concert with such jazz greats as Clark Terry, Randy Brecker, Bob Mincer, Greg Bissonett, Chris Vadala, Kevin Mahogany, and others.
In addition to Kent’s work and dedication to quality performance, he leads a distinguished life and career in educating young and upcoming musicians. After graduating with a Master’s in Music from University of North Texas in 1983 and immediately becoming active in the Dallas/Ft. Worth music scene, he joined the faculty of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. As a mentor to generations of musicians who began their musical studies at Dallas’ Arts Magnet, he has taught many great musicians produced by the school. He is now the Music Director there and directs the school’s acclaimed Jazz Singers, again using his talent to work with singers and promote Jazz. He is also the jazz piano instructor for Collin County Community College in Plano and is a performing member with the faculty jazz group. In addition, Kent is the music director for the Cathedral of Light Church in Carrollton, where he has been involved musically since 1991.