Meet Our Speakers

Piano iconoclast ELEW is a modern day pop artist and musical revolutionary making an impression on the music world with a thunderous new style of playing – an inspired melding of ragtime, rock and pop that he calls Rockjazz. He has captivated thousands at some of the biggest stadiums in the United States: just him, a grand piano, and his trademark armor.

ELEW has toured the world, recorded, and performed continuously with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Elvin Jones, Roy Hargrove, and Cassandra Wilson, among others. Now, in the jazz tradition of interpreting popular songs, ELEW has turned to rock, combining a guitarist’s approach to the piano with an explosively physical style of playing. He is known for playing his instrument like an athlete plays a sport – going inside the instrument, plucking directly at the strings, and testing the limits of both his body and his mind.

ELEW has broken free of the rigidly defined boundaries of the traditional jazz world and given birth to something truly original. At TEDx RVA, he will share his blistering renditions of infectious rock and pop anthems by Coldplay, The Killers, Nirvana, and more with his relentless innovation and disregard for the musical status quo.

See ELEW’s TEDxRVA 2013 performance here