Andrew Ells-O'Brien has been coaching, structured, private music lessons since January 2005. He boasts an amazing yearly 81% retention rate. His students that do suspend lessons, typically do so after an average of greater than 10 months, only to continue with him after a short respite.
- Master of Guitar certificate from Berklee Music, the online Extension School of Berklee College of Music.
- Awarded the Berklee Music’s Celebrity Online Scholarship from Paul Simon in 2009.
- Featured in Berklee Music’s Student Spotlight in 2008.
- Featured member of the Berklee Music on-line network.
- Received grants in 2007, 2008, and 2009 from Berklee College of Music for pursuit of music studies.
- Mentors include (among others):
- Premier Music Instructor at University Music in Lowell, Massachusetts.
- Rhythmatist for Jessica and Jamie.
- Playing guitar since 1983.
- Playing bass guitar since 1988.
- Playing ukulele since 2012.
- Playing drums since 2014.
- Professional associations include:
- 2017 Schlagwerk Golden Cajon Award Nominee
- Drummer for the Scott McGrath Band
- Album “Redemption" w/ Reverend JJ and the Casual Sinners.
- Performing with Reverend JJ & the Casual Sinners.
- Performing with Amy Beauregard and Caravan.
- Solo Artist ("One-Man-Band").
- Sales Expert for both Daddy's Music (Burlington, MA) and Guitar Center (Nashua, NH).
- Solo Albums “Live: at the Sad Cafe". and “Me and the Blues”.
- Live Entertainment Booking Agent and host of the weekly Open-Mic for Furey’s Cafe of Lowell, MA.
- General Manager and guitarist for “Half-Past Eight”, New England's premier blues band.
- Music Coordinator, Guitarist, and Mandolinist for the USA tour of country music's Chad Burdick.
- Guitarist for television program "Lift Jesus Higher".
- Worship ministry for Ministério Internacional de Libertação (Lowell, MA), Parkway Christian Center (Revere MA), The Lord's Gathering (Woburn, MA), St. Paul's Evangelical church (Somerville, MA).
- Member of Guitar Center’s Consumer Panel.
- Contributor to the 32° Masonic Learning Centers for Children, Inc., Greater Lowell Massachusetts. and to the Masonic Angel Foundation Massachusetts Grand Lodge.
- Make-A-Wish Foundation's preeminent music instructor for their annual Kids Fun Run and proud supporter of the Love, Hope, & Strength cancer foundation.
Among his peers and critics, Andrew Ells-O'Brien is considered a true modern renaissance master. While the Blues is his touchstone, he seems to draw inspiration from every direction, blending a myriad of influences with ease and grace.
A reviewer's article once said it well: “You can hear Blues, Jazz, Rock, Funk, and Folk all somehow converging into a single sparkling sound – a sound completely his own. Andrew's fresh approach to his music adaptations and original compositions simply defy category. If there were a category of people simply labeled ‘great musicians’ Andrew's talents would belong there.”
At the age of thirteen, Andrew received his first musical schooling like many musicians do, in a music store teaching room from a long forgotten instructor. He would practice insatiably and having to walk eight miles every week to and from his lessons he could be seen playing his guitar while on this hike. The local newspaper tagged him as the "Troubadour's Apprentice" as he serenaded folks on his "beat" each and every week with the current music he was studying. Soon after high-school he went on to study with guitarist Bob Wolfman (Larry Coryell, Chick Corea, Grover Washington Jr., James Montgomery) beginning his lifelong affection with Jazz, Blues and Rock music.
Andrew went on to perform with many sundry bands over the years with some amazing and distinguished musicians, far too many to name drop here. The genres of these bands was nothing short of a cornucopia. You could find Andrew at a Blues jam on a Saturday afternoon and follow him on stage in a punk rock performance that evening, followed by a stint in a gospel band for a church the next morning. He has performed in Country and Bluegrass bands, Folk and Americana bands, Rock and Metal bands, Gospel and Church bands, Blues and Jazz bands, and even as a solo One-Man band.
With such varied musical performance comes exposure to many musical instruments and Andrew is always one to try everything he could get his hands on. With his primary instrument being the guitar he focused on a family of instruments known as chordophones. In addition to being a celebrated and master guitarist he has become a consummate student-performer on the drums, electric bass, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro, Appalachian dulcimer, melodica, and harmonica.
With his "street learning" at a dead end, he went on to study at Berklee Music. He received yearly grants as well as a Celebrity Scholarship from Paul Simon. Berklee bestowed upon him a Master of Guitar Certificate and he has enjoyed conveying his knowledge to his students ever since.
Andrew has not forgotten those early days of lessons and practice, still refining his skill for hours every day. He states, "You learn something new every single day. Even after over thirty years there is always new music to discover and new sounds to explore."
Copyright © 2018 - Andrew Ells-O’Brien