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This project was made possible by funding through the Canadian Culture Online Strategy and the Heritage Policy Branch of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Canadian Heritage

Don Elliott


DON ELLIOTT (mellophonist, trumpeter, vibraphonist, composer, vocalist) was born October 21, 1926 in Somerville, New Jersey and passed away July 5, 1984 in Weston, Conneticut. Defying categories, Elliott was known as the “Human Instrument” – deftly mastering instruments, vocals, voices and winning Downbeat’s Poll in the 1950s for several years as top “miscellaneous instrumentalist”. In addition to his musical talents he had a vibrant career composing jingles, film scoring and pioneering multi-tracking as well as voice overs particularly the “Nutty Squirrels” novelty jazz act. As a performer he played with Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Terry Gibbs, George Shearing and countless others.