Mike Elliott

Mike was born May 18, 1940 in Chicago. He studied guitar in Colorado as a teenager under Johnny Smith. He spent a long time in Nashville where he was a producer/engineer, songwriter, and musician on hit country records. His many achievements during his Nashville years (1982-1997) include serving as music director to Jack Clement, contributing a track to John Anderson’s triple-platinum album “Seminole Wind”, working on staff at Gibson Guitars, and writing jazz books for Hal Leonard. Leonard Feather, a renowned jazz critic, considered Mike one of the best guitarists in jazz. His versatility as a guitarist led to him performing with the Toronto Symphony and Victor Borge on the road, recording with Johnny Cash, and many other opportunities. Mike was a dedicated and brilliant teacher. He presented guitar clinics with Les Paul and taught many students, from beginners to Bela Fleck. Mike was covered by health insurance but he spent the majority of 2005 in hospital. His family now has staggering medical bills and other expenses. You can send donations to The Elliott Family, P.O. Box 211256, Eagan MN 55121-9998. Box 211256 Eagan MN 55121-9998. On Sunday, October 16, at 3:00 pm, a benefit and celebration will be held at the Artists Quarter, 408 St. Peter St., downtown St. Paul. Francena Elliott (Mike’s wife) said, “There was only one Mike. I’m so lucky to have had him in mine.” He was a man I loved. Mike was soft-spoken, but made a lasting impression on all who met him. Mike was humble and kind, despite his accomplishments. He was a great friend and a true gentleman. Mike stood six feet seven inches tall. His gentleness and sharp wit made Mike an even more memorable. Mike Elliott was longtime friends with Pat Martino, a Philadelphia-based guitarist and Blue Note recording artist. Mike was instrumental in introducing Mr. Martino at McNally Smith College of Music, St. Paul, to teach guitar students. Martino says, “It struck my that Mike was very much of a father figure for the students, and truly loved by them.” “Only a few people are able to use their talents as musicians and artists to help others learn. Mike was one such rare individual. He made the learning environment very comfortable for everyone, including me.” from http://www.jazzpolice.com

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