Washington, D.C.-area jazz singer and vocal teacher Ronnie Wells-Elliston died Wednesday March 7 at Holy Cross Hospital of lung cancer. She was 64.
In 1992, Wells-Elliston and her second husband, jazz pianist Ron Elliston, cofounded the annual East Coast Jazz Festival, held in Rockville, Md. The charity concert featured amateur and professional jazz musicians, playing to benefit the Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship fund, also founded by Wells and her husband. They named the fund for Elmore “Fish” Middleton, who was a D.C. jazz radio programmer for WPFW-FM (89.3).
On their own Jazz Karma Records, Wells and Elliston recorded numerous albums, mostly together, but some featuring Wells as a solo artist. She also appeared with the Widespread Jazz Orchestra on CBS/Columbia Records.