Ella ChadwellBy Andria Barrios

Music has always been the companion of Ella Chadwell. As a young child who grew up in the Ybor City projects, Latin music especially influenced her life and now inspired a career in jazz entertainment.

“My songs have stories. I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller and now I can through my music,” Chadwell said.

Her first jazz gigue was six years ago, and she now opens for plays, dinner theatres and charity events throughout the community. This songstress performs evening shows regularly at the Shrimp Boat, Allegria Italiana and Della’s after Dark.

Jimmy Silva, also a pianist for Gloria Estefan, has worked with Chadwell for nearly four years.

“It’s amazing how we found each other. We’re like Lucy and Desi,” he said.

Together, the dynamic duo produces romantic and beautiful music with either an intimate or a lively flair. Their chemistry creates a magic which truly warms the heart.

Her debut gospel album I Turn to Him was released nearly 25 years ago, and since then Chadwell’s singing career has translated into jazz and successfully grown. In 2009, she produced A Night to Remember, which keeps listeners swinging from start to finish.

But the live performances are what she enjoys most.

“My passion is people,” she said. “Charity is also a passion.”

Because of these passions and her charismatic air, Chadwell, a mother of three and a grandmother of five, is a draw for many. She is also involved with the Women’s Resource Center and her local church. Along with her pianist, she maintains conservative music choices and avoids performing in bars.

“But music doesn’t own me. I could stop if I wanted,” said Chadwell, which shows her career is not based on money or fame, but on the deep love for music established from her youth.

A biography of her life, Becoming Ella, was written in collaboration with Larry Leech as an inspiration for younger women.

“It started with a dream. Believe in your dreams and go get them,” she said.

The release date for her book is expected to be within the year.

For more information, visit www.ellachadwell.com. To book Ella Chadwell for an event, contact bookings@ellachadwell.com.