Remembering Legendary Pianist, Ellis Larkins | WYPR

Remembering Legendary Pianist, Ellis Larkins

Feb 21, 2014

Ellis Larkins. (Courtesy of the Digital Collections in the Arthur Friedheim Library of the Peabody Institute and Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Larkins.)
Ella Fitzgerald cut a classic record, Ella Sings Gershwin, in 1950. She was accompanied by a lone pianist who had an elegant touch: Baltimore’s own Ellis Larkins.  A graduate of Frederick Douglass High School in Northwest Baltimore, Larkins was the first African-American to attend the Peabody Conservatory.  After training at Juilliard, he became one of the most distinguished and accomplished jazz pianists of his generation.   

Today at noon, jazz writer and musician Bob Jacobson will give a free talk at Baltimore’s City Hall about the life and work of Ellis Larkins, who died in 2002. But, first, Bob joins Tom Hall in the studio. 

You can hear the late Marion McPartland's 1979 conversation with Ellis Larkins here. NPR's Jazz Profiles put together an hour-long documentary about Ellis Larkins. You can listen to that here. Learn more about the classic recordings Ella Fitzgerald made with Ellis here.