Lauren Ellis is a drummer, composer, and educator from Wellington, Aotearoa (New Zealand), and graduated in 2011 with a BM in Jazz Studies from Te Koki New Zealand School of Music. She has stamped her mark on the NZ scene, leading and playing for a number of well-known groups, including Richter City Rebels, Gold Nugget Pawn Shop, The Presidents of Funk, Hip Town Bangers, and Son Clave. The varied styles reflect her versatility as a player, running the gamut from New Orleans second-line to funk, to hard bop, to Latin American. An active side-woman, she toured New Zealand and the US with indie-rock group Giantess in 2018.
Up until 2019, Lauren was the drummer for New Zealands premier jazz orchestra, The Rodger Fox Big Band, performing with luminaries such as Joey DeFrancesco, Mike Stern, and James Carter. The band tours both in New Zealand and internationally, appearing at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2017. Her association with the band has led to a number of educational opportunities including directing workshops, coaching bands, and adjudicating high school jazz competitions countrywide.
Lauren is currently located in Los Angeles where she is completing her Master's degree at the USC Thornton School of Music and working as a teaching assistant to Peter Erskine. She is also a member of the newly formed FN Big Band founded by USC Thornton alumni Paul Nelson and Tim Fenton.