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R.I.P Johnny Chops

A Message from Melissa Ellis

I am deeply saddened with the news of my dear friend, John Colianni's untimely passing.

Although we never got to see this project to fruition as we had planned for 2024, I look fondly upon all the practice videos he sent my way and our correspondence. Reflecting on the brief but impactful time I spoke with John, I’m filled with immense gratitude. He rekindled hope in me, steered me in new directions, and arranged songs that I’ll forever cherish. His kindness (He was ever-so kind!), expertise, and contagious enthusiasm for music deeply touched me. And WOW!--was he a beast on those ivories! Such brilliance!

He believed in me – a jazz singer from rural Tennessee with an unshakeable southern accent – and reminded me that uniqueness in music is a treasure that audiences DO value.... "The jazz world could use The Southern Spitfire," he told me when I was uncertain.

John's legacy lives on in the hearts and melodies of those he inspired, including mine. The jazz world lost a great one.