Uno Chicago Grill
11 South Bridge Drive – Agawam, MA 01001 – (413) 789-1500 FAX – (413) 789-4910
It has been a long, wonderful experience…how can I possibly capture the relationship I’ve had with Ethel Lee.
She has been entertaining thousands of my guests for over twenty years! I tried to leave the Ethel Lee Ensemble out of the lineup for one month many years ago (purely for economic reasons), and the sheer volume of e-mails, phone calls and letters from the fans requesting her return made me quickly reconsider!
Professionally, I haven’t worked with a better vocalist in the over twenty years I’ve been providing music in Western Massachusetts. Her talent is beyond compare, and her ability to always play to the crowd never ceases to amaze.
Personally, there is no finer human being on the planet. Ethel doesn’t just think about the folks pouring in to listen to her. She takes into account the sometimes-difficult tasks my servers, bartenders and managers do during her shows. Always thanking them (often with baked goods) and cognizant, always, of what they are going through to do their jobs.
Finally, Ethel’s sense of loyalty, love of family and respect for all has made our partnership far more than business. I consider Ethel a dear friend, and couldn’t imagine my life without her in it!
I am grateful, year after year, that Ethel Lee continues to bring such wonderful music, so many smiles, and such joy to all those who come to hear her sing
Unos Summer Courtyard
Uno Pizzeria & Grill
She sings, she swings!
When Ethel sings, she gives you a glimpse into who she is.
You hear warmth, honesty, passion, caring, and always giving person, and her gratitude for her many blessings. She is constantly sharing with her audiences her enthusiasm for life and her chance to give you joy. Ethel is always real and she expresses her love of music through her voice.
Ethel Lee is a treasure to all who know her!!!!
Dave Sporny, Professor Emeritus; University of Massachusetts; Trombonist; Educator; Conductor; Clinician; Arranger;
Musical Director, Amherst Jazz Orchestra
After playing music with Ethel Lee for many years now, I have come to realize how good she is at a number of things. Besides having a voice that draws you in for a great listening experience, she has a natural ability to make an audience feel welcome and at ease. Her ability to sing different styles of music and make each style sound authentic and believable is one of her great assets. It’s one of the things that keep her audience coming back for more. The ease with which she entertains any audience no matter the size, is something not everyone can do, but to Ethel it seems to come naturally, and it seems to be something she was born to do.
Ralph Whittle – keyboard
I have had the pleasure of knowing Ethel Lee for many years, first as a fan, and then as an accompanist. I first saw her perform at a small club on a second floor in Westfield, MA. I remember in particular a rendition of “Summertime” and the fine musicians she had assembled for the show. As an accompanist, I have been struck by her wonderful sense of pitch. I remember once a particular request by a bride, for a wedding that Ethel and I had been asked to play for, we were working out the melody line. Ethel, or Ms. Lee as I like to call her, sang the line out first and then I played it on the organ and was struck by how spot on her pitch had been. Looking forward to hearing Ms. Lee and her band again sometime soon.
Tom Coburn, publisher, managing editor, West Springfield Record,
Piano player and organist
There’s Only One-Ethel Lee. I have been honored to perform on keyboard with Ethel since the early 1990’s. Like the finest wine, she just gets better every year, as impossible as that may seem. I’d like to start by speaking of Ethel, the humanitarian, wife, mother, grandmother, sister to my wife and me. We have never shed a cross word or had a gig that didn’t thrill us. When you’re Ethel’s friend, you have a treasured gift. If you are fortunate enough to enjoy Ethel’s great talent, you, too, are lucky and know exactly what I mean. Ethel doesn’t perform for herself, as musicians have been known to do. Rather, her whole being is committed to pleasing her countless fans. She will stop at nothing to find and learn a special request. She knows her fans by name, she knows their families, and she treats each fan as if they were the most special person as if she’s singing just to them. How often do you hear of a restaurant venue wanting your band performing for two decades? How often does that band fill a restaurant two decades later? That’s what The Ethel Lee Ensemble does! Speaking as a lucky keyboard accompanist for Ethel, I have constantly learned to grow musically and work in tandem for so many performances with Ethel. In fact, I perform more with Ethel than I do with anyone. Whether we’re performing for hundreds in Connecticut, or a small group in Boston or Framingham or Fitchburg, Ethel gives 100% plus to that audience. Ethel also knows how to make the performers with her always feel special and appreciated. Ethel is loved by all the musicians that play with and for her. She has the uncanny sense to know which musicians would fill the bill for any job. I am honored to have created an incredible CD for Ethel and I look forward to more. In conclusion, if I sound like I’m giddy with praise for this very special person in our lives, it’s because I am. I wish you all the joy of experiencing one of Massachusetts greatest performers-Ethel Lee
Richard Mitnick, Keyboardist, Arranger
A Word About Ethel Lee, One of my Favorite People
I have had the extreme pleasure of knowing and playing bass with vocalist Ethel Lee for well over 15 years. This has been in numerous settings from private parties, public concerts-in-the-park, to our long-standing Sunday evening performance at UNO’s Chicago Bar and Grill in Springfield, MA.
What I and her audiences enjoy so much, is her depth and breadth across many musical styles, from Rhythm-and-Blues to Jazz and from Soul to Motown. Her repertoire is vast, consisting of hundreds and hundreds of songs. She is extremely adept and presenting all these styles in an engaging, musical and authentic way. She excels at keeping her audiences entertained and in doing so, has developed a very loyal following, whom I have witnessed traveling many miles to enjoy her performances.
In working with Ethel, I have also grown close to her, collaborating musically with her in helping with arrangements or preparing pieces for special events for her friends and family. She does this tirelessly, and unselfishly, constantly giving back to her appreciative fans, many of whom have become good friends.
Ethel is an extremely warm person who ‘pays it forward’ in abundance, both in her music and in her own generosity, as she is always celebrating her fans and going the extra mile, meaning cards, balloons, cakes and hugs. Her positive spirit, engaging charm and wonderful musical stylings have earned her a place in many people’s hearts, including mine. It is no wonder she is one of the most sought-after and busiest singers in the area, hands down.
Bass Instructor, Hartt Community Division
Secretary, Hartford Jazz Society
Bassist/President New England Jazz Ensemble
Playing music with Mrs. Lee over the course of almost 30 years, I have witnessed that it has always been a happy place for musicians and audiences alike. Mrs. Lee’s compassion for her fellow musicians and the audiences is evidenced in the depth of support received in her performances from the audiences and a large rank of musicians who welcome the call to participate with her on the stage. The respect that Mrs. Lee gives to one and all is even more emphasized with the knowledge of the hurtles she has experienced and overcome. Raised in the segregated south, graduating from Alabama A. & M. University, and becoming the first African American and woman police officer in West Springfield, MA. From walking a beat to becoming a DARE officer, and enjoying the adulation of the children with whom she interacted (many, now adults, come to her performances to say hello). All can and should extol the music we have made together, but my respect far surpasses that. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to memorialize this sentiment.
Mark Barowsky, saxophonist
I have been blessed to share the stage with Ethel since 1992. She always sings from the heart. I not only respect her for her talent, but also for the way she cares about her fellow musicians and fans, and for her “gratitude attitude.”
Ed Brainerd, trumpetist
It is always an enjoyable experience working with and drumming for Ethel Lee. Her singing is smooth, sometimes sassy and always filled with personality. I have always admired how engaging Ethel is with her audience. How she shows appreciation for them by obliging requests, singing Happy Birthday and sometimes even leaving the bandstand to give one of her many fans in the audience, who might be leaving, that hug which wasn’t had. I love and appreciate how super thoughtful she is to us, her band, as she always gifts us with her delightful baking for our birthdays and hip little presents for other celebratory occasions. This she does for her fans and friends in attendance too! Ethel and I can’t help but to have great fun together while performing and I am very much looking forward to doing so this coming summer season! Ethel, you will always have one of my many BIG drummer hugs coming your way! Stay beautiful!
Clark Seibold, drummer
If you want to feel good, catch an Ethel Lee concert. She is a singer that possesses the rare ability to communicate joy, happiness and love to her audience. Ethel, puts a heartfelt touch to her vocals that always makes for a memorable audience experience!
Gregory Caputo, drummer
Ethel is a person that does not realize the power of her talent. Number one, she works very hard at entertaining her audience. Most people don’t know how much time she spends getting ready before going on stage to perform. She spends hours learning songs for request from fans, and she doesn’t forget their request. Number two, she loves making people feel good, and after a few moments of listening to Ethel, people can forget about the problems they had that day, and have a new outlook on life.
Ethel is versatile, she’s able to sing all different types of songs and different genres making them sound as if she belongs in that genre. The fact that she is versatile makes it easy for her to work with many different kinds of musicians, from a small group to a big band. Her presence on stage is professional, she is always immaculate for any occasion, from backyard gigs, to clubs, weddings and social events.
I’m drummer, Bill Arnold, they call me Mr. clean on stage. I enjoy working with Ethel, I get to play so many different styles of music. Most of all it’s so much fun watching her because she loves what she does and it shows, and the audience loves her for doing it.
Bill Arnold, drummer
Playing music with Ethel is always a treat. Not only is she entertaining to her audience but she is also entertaining to us, the musicians. She gives a history lesson to the audience of the songs she performs. I feel very honored and blessed when she calls me for a gig. Ethel is one of a kind, and you can see this when you look into the audience, and see how much fun her fans are having. It is truly an honor to play and be a musician and friend of Ethel. I always have so much fun playing with her.
Jason Arnold, drummer
I have had the extreme pleasure of performing with Ethel Lee a little over 12 years. So many great attributes come into play when I think about her. One is the honesty that is in her performance and interactions with her fans and bandmates. You know that when Ethel tells you she loves and appreciates you, she means it with every fiber of her being. She absolutely loves her fans. I’ve been in this business for over 50 years and have never seen a connection like this, between audience and performer. It is truly a love affair. And I haven’t even started talking about her prowess as a singer. She has the ability to affect you deeply with song. Her voice is so pure and unpretentious. She makes your booty shake with up-tempo dance tunes and absolutely bring you to tears with a heart filled ballad. Sometimes when I’m performing with her, I forget I’m in the band and become a full-fledged fan. If you are a fan of Ethel Lee, you already know the magic of this great lady. If you’ve never seen her, do yourself and your loved ones a favor. Go see Ethel perform. I guarantee you will leave a huge fan and start planning your weekends around where she is performing next.
With much love and respect,
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ethel Lee for almost 20 years now. Ethel is a talented singer as well as a natural entertainer. Her voice is engaging and her sense of swing and phrasing are impeccable. As a performer, she draws in the crowd with her warm personality and wins them over with the wide variety of musical styles she covers during the gig. Ethel is always the consummate professional: she works with the finest musicians, starts on time, entertains the crowd, and spends time with her fans during breaks.
As a person, Ethel always has a grateful attitude. She makes people feel special, as evidenced by the loyal following that shows up whenever she plays. They are among the nicest people, and I have made many friendships with them over the years. In addition to her fans, Ethel has cultivated strong ties with many of the business owners she works with, some over 20 years now. Ethel is also very kind and appreciative to her fellow band-members, and many of us who have worked with her over the years feel like a part of her extended family.
Tido Holtkamp, drummer/teacher
Whether you’re a musician or a member of her devoted “posse,” Ethel Lee shares her joy with you whenever she sings. Come and share my genuine appreciation of her talent and friendship. Ethel’s the real deal.
Bob Shepherd, pianist
I love your heart, I love your singing, I love your swinging!
Mike Renzi, composer, musical director, arranger and pianist
Dear Hiring Agent: Your search for musical talent for your special event is over! Ethel Lee, accompanied by Richie Mitnick, has been the featured entertainment at Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center’s Annual Wine Taste Fundraiser for three years, and we can’t imagine working with anyone else! Whether outdoors under the stars or indoors live-streamed during a virtual event, Ethel and Richie delight everyone within earshot. Ethel’s extensive repertoire is accentuated by her broad vocal and emotional range, energetic resonance and personal magnetism. She is a natural talent and each time she graces us with her presence, she furthers Genesis’ mission of hope and healing. Love pours forth through her music! All of us at Genesis whole-heartedly endorse Ethel and Richie as professional, atmospherically savvy and sensitive performers. They will elevate your special event, making it memorable and magical!
Liz Walz, Executive Director
Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done for Anna and I, as well as for Mercy Hospital over the past few years.
The times you have performed at our home are still talked about by those who attended, and they remain the best gatherings we have ever put together. If you remember, we even attended one of your performances at Sardella’s in Newport, Rhode Island. What a magical evening that was!
Your beautiful voice and elegant demeanor have not only entertained our family, friends, and fellow Mercy administrators and providers, but has fostered friendships and created opportunities that furthered the Mercy mission.
I am blessed to have so many Ethel Lee stories to share. I still remember how you surprised me with your performance of “Tennessee Whiskey.” What beautiful evenings we have shared. And during that process, you have become a dear friend of mine, and I adore you and cherish our friendship.
Thank you, Ethel, for all you have done for us. You truly are a beautiful person with a truly blessed voice.
Paul L. Mancinone, CPA, Esq.
Chairman of the Board
Mercy Medical Center