Spellbound's Founder, Vocalist, and Business Manager
Ell hails from Sharon, Massachusetts, where she was first introduced to the world of jazz through her very musical family. With vocal training in Jazz and R&B, a dual-major in Business and Theater, and a passion for performance, Ell could not be more thrilled to manage Spellbound and sing with such talented musicians. In addition to jazz and pop, she enjoys singing Pop, Gospel, and Broadway show tunes. When she is not onstage, one can most likely find her hiking and biking in Acadia National Park, singing with her a cappella group Starving Artists, speaking different languages, spontaneously breaking out into song, playing foreign characters in theatrical venues, and cheering on the Boston and Brandeis sports teams. Thanks for your interest in Spellbound!
From Highland Park, N.J., Michael Chernin is pursuing a B.A in Psychology and Political Science at Brandeis University. After seeing the joy that banging on pots, pans, and water jugs with chopsticks brought him, his parents agreed to buy him a drum set when he was in fifth grade. He started playing percussion in the school band when he was 10, and the drum set in the jazz band when he was 11. Michael has played in Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Pep Band, and musical orchestra pits for school and community theater. In 2010 he attended the Rutgers University Mason Gross Summer Jazz Institute. Michael has been fortunate enough to play regularly as a member of the Summerset Jazz Consortium, an extensive group of retired, semi-retired, and working professional musicians and music students based in New Jersey. Currently Michael plays with the Brandeis Jazz Combo. He’s incredibly happy to be playing with the fantastic people in Spellbound!
Photo Credit: Osama Alturkistani
Sam Chussid is from New Rochelle, New York where in 2004, he picked up the electric bass while simultaneously joining his first band Simple Confusion. Sam was initially drawn to the playing styles of Flea, John Paul Jones, Oteil Burbridge, Victor Wooten, and Jaco Pastorius. He has been fortunate enough to play with many groups whose genres range from Hip Hop to Ska. While developing his unique electric sound, Sam has also been teaching himself classical double bass since 2006. He currently plays for the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra and has played in the pit bands for Urinetown, A Funny Thing Happens On The Way To The Forum, Ordinary Mind, Ordinary Day (an original play), and Footloose. As Spellbound's original bass player, Sam has loved developing his Jazz chops while still holding onto his funk roots.
Spellbound's Sax Player
From Barrington, Rhode Island, Bryan '14 is a pre-med student majoring in Economics at Brandeis University. He started playing the piano at age 6 before picking up the alto saxophone at 10. He has had extensive experience in the jazz community across New England. He has been involved in small jazz groups around Rhode Island. His music accolades include 3 Berklee College of Music Achievement awards, 4 Berklee College of Music Judges' Choice awards, and an Essentially Ellington Outstanding Musician award. He was the lead Rhode Island All-State Jazz Ensemble lead Saxophonist throughout his 4 years in high school. He is also currently in the Brandeis Jazz Combo as well as the New England Conservatory School of Continuing Education jazz combo.
At the ripe age of three, Elan began exploring the limitless boundaries of the piano. He grew up classically trained, but in high school started branching out towards pop, rock, and of course, jazz. Spontaneous jamming sessions are Elan's favorite hobby, second to singing riffs and runs and in his spared time he finds more musical activities to pursue. The biggest surprise he has received since recently joining, is learning that our vocalist, Ell Getz, is related to the great and extremely talented saxophone player, Stan Getz. Elan is greatly appreciative of the opportunities Spellbound provides and is thrilled to be part of such a special, lively and energetic group.