Jelloslave, which originally formed as a duo in 2003 by cellists Jacqueline Ultan and Michelle Kinney, has since become an established quartet with the addition of drummer Greg Schutte and Gary Waryan on tablas. Known for their dynamic improvisational compositions, the foursome pours heart and soul into an eclectic original repertoire ranging from mesmerizing fusions of jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Indian rhythms, to surprising pop music interpretations. Jelloslave’s two critically acclaimed CD’s, Touch It, released in 2006, and Purple Orange, released in April 2010 feature original compositions by cellists Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan, as well as arrangements of compositions by other artists such as Leonard Cohen and Astor Piazolla. Jelloslave has been a featured act at some of the Twin Cities most prominent festivals and venues, including St. Paul’s Concrete and Grass and Sur Seine Festivals, The Northrop Summer Music Series, Macy’s Day of Music, Mill City Live Summer Concert Series, Walker Art Center, Cedar Cultural Center, Southern Theater, and many more.
Jacqueline Ultan graduated from YALE University with a Master’s Degree in performance. Jacqueline’s unique versatility as a cellist, composer and collaborator has put her in demand among some of the world’s foremost artists in new and creative music, including The JAYHAWKS new 2011 release Mockingbird Time, DAN WILSON, E. Carlos Nakai, Anthony Cox, The New Standards, Huun Hur Tu, Kevin Kling, British pianist and composer Tony Hymas, and French artists, songwriter/bassist Imbert Imbert and cellist Didier Petit. In February 2012 Jacqueline co-wrote the music with her Jelloslave cello partner Michelle Kinney, for a TED Talks presentation with BLM Dance Company. Jacqueline
Jacqueline currently performs and composes in four unique and acclaimed projects: Saltee, Jelloslave, Starfolk, and Antigravity. Jacqueline was selected, along with 7 other twin cities artists, to present an evening of music with her four bands, for the 2011 premiere season of the Cedar Cultural Center’s new 416 Club Commissions program, funded by the Jerome Foundation. Jacqueline’s bands have been featured at the Twin Cities most prominent festivals and venues, including the WALKER ART CENTER, CEDAR CULTURAL CENTER, SOUTHERN THEATER, St. Paul’s Concrete and Grass and Sur Seine Festivals, The Northrop Summer Music Series, Macy’s Day of Music, Mill City Live Summer Concert Series, and many more. Jacqueline is a dedicated teacher and educator and has served on the faculty at the MacPhail Center for Music and the Minneapolis Community and Technical College for many years, while also maintaining a flourishing private home studio.
Michelle Kinney is a passionate and intrepid genre-hopping cellista, Michelle performs her own compositions with the cello/drum quartet Jelloslave, the Pipa, Veena and Cello trio Butterfly, and the new large improvising ensemble Cherry Spoon Collective.
Michelle enjoys several musical collaborations with ensemble projects including the spoken word free improvising band Coloring Time, and with her husband, composer and guitarist Chris Cunningham in his “micro orchestra” Mississippi Peace; and with Twin Cities luminaries such as Nirmala Rajasekar, Prudence Johnson and Gao Hong.
She also collaborates frequently as a composer for dance and theater, notably with Kevin Kling & Michael Sommers, Stuart Pimsler Dance Theater, Paula Mann and Time Track Productions, Carl Flink and BLM, and the infamous Laurie Van Wieren.
Finally, Michelle is a devoted mom to her most loyal (though captive) audience, Ruby and Ivan, and to Cocoa the fabulous mutt.
In recognition of her artistic work as a composer, Michelle has received awards and grants from New Music USA, The Bush Foundation, The Knight Foundation, The Jerome Foundation, McKnight Foundation, NEA/Rockefeller, Meet the Composer, Harvestworks/Studio Pass, The American Composers Forum, and Minnesota State Arts Board.
Michelle earned a BA from Northwestern University, focusing on cello performance, composition and ethnomusicology/jazz studies (w/Paul Berliner). Returning to the Twin Cities, she spent 10 years composing and performing in Dance, Theater, Film and various performing ensembles, before moving to NYC for graduate school at NYU where she earned an MA in Performance Studies. Michelle spent 13 years in the downtown NYC music scene, and has worked with some of the most respected innovators in new music, including Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, Jason Hwang, Brandon Ross, Myra Melford, Mary Ellen Childs, Bun Ching Lam, Shi-Zheng Chen, Fast Forward and John Zorn.
Greg Schutte is an American drummer, producer and sound designer. Over
the past 20 years has as performed nationally and internationally with
a wide variety of artists/groups, including: The Mickey Hart Band,
Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric, Jelloslave, Chastity Brown, The
Hornheads, Marimba Africa, Yawo, Clay Moore Trio, Lori Line, Anthony
Cox, Test Site 67, Christian Howes, Adam Niewood, Tony Sandler,
Bernard Allison, Mary Cutrufello, Mpls Dub Ensemble, and many more.
As a touring drummer, Greg is currently playing with The Mickey Hart
Band. He has also performed on B.B. King’s ’02 US “Summer Blues Fest”
with The Shane Henry Group, Ruf Records ’04 European “Blues Caravan”
Tour with guitarist Sue Foley, and Cyndi Lauper’s ’06 “Body Acoustic
World Tour” with Mpls Reggae Pop group The RULE. In 2010 Greg toured
Iraq and Kuwait performing for the US/Coalition Forces with
singer/songwriter Keri Noble. And from 2008-2010 he toured and
recorded with Lorie Line and her Pop Chamber Orchestra. In 2011, Greg
performed for Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric European Tour and
additional dates in Mexico.
Currently Greg is producing his third of four commissions of his
original compositions for Ananya Dance Theatre, which premiered in
2012 in Trinidad and in Minneapolis, MN at the Southern Theater.
Greg also owns and produces music at The Bathtub Shrine Recording
Studio in NE Minneapolis.
Gary Waryan comes from a very musical family. He began his musical explorations on guitar before discovering his passion for Tablas. He studied classical Hindustani music tradition in depth, with Marcus Wise & Ustad Diem Ali Quadri, and has been performing in the Twin Cities community for over 35 years. He has worked extensively as a dance and theater accompanist, composer and performer; highlights include Minnesota Dance Theatre, Red Eye Theatre & performance artist/filmmaker Chris Sullivan.
For the past 15 years Gary has performed in several devotional (Kirtan) groups, and in a variety of creative contexts with many local musicians including Mike Michel, Saltee, Carnage, Felonious Bausch, Greg Herrigas, Pete Linman, Joe Savage, Mississippi Peace, Barb Meyer Band, Jeff Waryan, Casey Obrien, Dalyce Elliott, Tim Frantzig & long time friend and colleague and Jelloslave bandmate, Michelle Kinney.
Gary’s current projects include the Wild Moon Bhaktas, David Ballman’s The Midnight Choir, Spirit House Trio and Jelloslave.