Eric Elias has performed in and recorded with bands of all styles including folk, rock, alternative, blues,
gospel, R & B and jazz (even rap). He began playing folk, blues and rock guitar around age 12 (shortly after learning
on the dulcimer and banjo). Eric played in garage bands, for school dances and in churches and community centers through jr.
high and high school. It wasnt until college that Eric began to develop his interest in jazz. He performed in several jazz
combos, school ensembles and toured England with Ignition (a gospel group with R & B and jazz influences) while studying
social sciences. As a graduate student, pursuing a masters degree in educational psychology, Eric began to take a greater
interest in be bop and standards and has studied with a number of great teachers at the college level and privately. Eric
is a graduate of Rich Seversons Guitar College program and has studied at the Hartford Conservatory.
Since moving to Hartford, CT in 1996 Eric has been performing most often in small jazz combos on guitar and
upright bass (taking a slight detour from his normal finger-style guitar work). This work has helped Eric find his unique
voice on the arch top guitar. He feels that his influences in finger-style, gospel and folk music have allowed
him to create an interesting blend of styles on the jazz guitar. Eric performs regularly with his trio and in a duo with multi-instrumentalist
Luke Nelson. The trio combines musical Eric's influences and interests, blending Brazilian, jazz and original tunes on upright
bass, congas and acoustic guitars. The duo with Luke Nelson has begun exploring the art of the arch top guitar and its influences
from the 1920's to the present. Focusing on creative compositions and arrangements the duo is revitalizing the sound of the
great arch top guitar duos and bringing it into the 21st century. Most recently the Elias/Nelson Duo has
been featured on the Connecticut Classical Guitar Societys last two compilation CDs (available on this site). They expect
to record their first full CD together by the summer of 2002.
Eric is an author and jazz educator as well. He has written 11 jazz guitar and bass instructional books. He
writes a regular column on beginning improvisation for Just Jazz Guitar magazine. Eric contributes articles to several
other magazines and music related newsletters as well. He continues to teach guitar, bass, banjo and mandolin in
the Hartford area.
Eric Elias endorses Stromberg arch top jazz guitars.