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Lauren Ellis is a drummer, composer, and educator from Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington), Aotearoa (New Zealand). Lauren relocated to Los Angeles in 2019 to complete her Master's degree and teaching assistantship under Peter Erskine at USC's Thornton School of Music. Now permanently based in Los Angeles, Lauren is an active and busy member of the music community, performing regularly around the city as well as in-studio session work. She plays with groups such as the Bill Holman Band, LA Philharmonic, and Seth Macfarlane, including being a first-call sub for Peter Erskine. Aside from performing, Lauren is an accomplished composer, currently working on personal projects and film scores, while also frequently writing commissioned works for jazz ensembles in both the US and Aotearoa. In 2022 she received the APRA New Zealand award for best jazz composition for her work 'Papatūānuku'.

Prior to her move to the US, she stamped her mark on the Wellington scene, leading and playing for a number of well-known groups, including Richter City Rebels, The Presidents of Funk, and Gold Nugget Pawn Shop, including touring the US and Aotearoa with indie-rock group, Giantess, and Rodger Fox’s New Zealand Jazz Orchestra. During her tenure as the drummer for New Zealand’s premier jazz orchestra, she had the opportunity to perform with luminaries such as Joey DeFrancesco, Mike Stern, and James Carter.

Throughout Aotearoa, Lauren was extensively involved in music education. Including private students and itinerant teaching, she has spent time adjudicating, mentoring, and workshopping students and bands at various jazz festivals and high school competitions around the country. Lauren continues to be involved with music education and teaching in Los Angeles where from 2019 to 2021 she taught undergraduate drum proficiency at USC's Thornton School of Music, as well as assisted in teaching the history of Black American music alongside Professor Ron McCurdy. In addition to teaching privately from her home studio, she is also a mentor for drumset and piano students at South Pasadena's Arts and Music Academy.

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