Vocalist Kelle Jolly, “The Tennessee Ukulele Lady”, is one of East Tennessee’s most celebrated jazz musicians. She and her husband, saxophonist Will Boyd, were the 2015 MLK Art Award recipients in Knoxville. She is the founder of Ukesphere of Knoxville, a ukulele group for all ages. As an ambassador of jazz, she has traveled to Muroran, Japan as Knoxville’s Sister City representative with her husband, saxophonist Will Boyd, at various jazz festivals and events. She and her uke are featured on Will Boyd’s latest album release, “Freedom, Soul, Jazz”. Kelle Jolly is the host of Knoxville’s newest radio show on WUOT 91.9FM (www.wuot.org), Jazz Jam with Kelle Jolly, an hour-long show that celebrates great singers of jazz. She is also the founder of the Women in Jazz Jam Festival (www.womeninjazzjamfestival.com), which will take place in March. Kelle Jolly is a member of the Mayor’s Maker Council in Knoxville, TN.
Kelle Jolly is a graduate of South Carolina State University with a B.S. in Music Education (Voice). Kelle taught elementary music in Hamilton County Schools. She has recorded and performed music for children for over 20 years. She was inspired early in life by performers like the Georgia Sea Island Singers and Ella Jenkins, to perform traditional and folk songs for families. Kelle performs traditional African American music, including folk, spirituals, jazz, blues and soul. She facilitates blues writing workshops for adult learners and school children. Her musical shows include fun costumes and dancing puppets, all made by Kelle’s skillful hands. She teaches ukulele in private lessons and in groups.
Kelle Jolly has appeared at the Jubilee Festival at the Laurel Theater, the Louie Bluie Festival in Caryville, TN, the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, TN, the Cherry Blossom Festival in Nashville, TN and the Rose Center in Morristown, TN.