Editor’s note: Originally from Manhattan, Elli Fordyce is a highly accomplished vocalist and actor. She has performed all over the New York Metro area and throughout North America, including appearances in the New York Cabaret Convention and in festivals. Elli also has numerous acting credits, including the film “September 12th,” Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show” and a theatrical production of “Guys and Dolls.”
Elli spent several periods away from New York until 1979 and, more to the point, away from her musical journey until the 1990s. During her first exile she devoted herself to family. The next period of inactivity began suddenly and unexpectedly. While on-the-road, traveling to a gig with her quartet and their equipment, her car crashed into a disabled truck on a snowy highway. It was devastating and a successful year-long tour of “Elli Fordyce And Her Favorite Things” ended abruptly, leaving behind scars of several kinds. She tells her story here in her own words:
Although I’m not sure that at 76 I’m “too busy to grow old gracefully,” I certainly qualify for some sort of “unwilling to …” category.
Prior to my move from NYC a year ago, to the woods and meadows of a 200-acre retirement community 90 miles north ofManhattan– where I was for the last 35 years — I self-released my first two jazz-vocal CDs, both critically-acclaimed and the second of which garnered eight Grammy Pre-Nominations.
I’m active on our campus, running a “vocal playshop,” performing for assisted-living residents, walking my Yorkie, playing bridge and coaching via Skype. I’ve done several jazz “gigs” and some acting here (and am always on the alert for more). Last but not least, my community is starting a Thrive Club which I’ve been asked to help facilitate, to support and encourage interests such as those you feature in your column for residents who range from 70-somethings to 90-somethings.
Further, being somewhat “tech-savvy,” via arrangements made on Twitter I’ve recently been interviewed by Voice of America-Jazz (in DC) and by RamJamRadio-Just Jazz (inUK). I continue to seek more exposure for my CDs on the internet and create more media opportunities for my “story,” in the wake of a long list of features for both (most of those also arranged on Twitter). The internet also provides enormous opportunity for further exploration of holistic and spiritual pursuits with which I’ve been engaged for 40 years.
For specific information about my musical and acting experience, please see www.ellifordyce.net.