Dan Ellis grew up in north London and was educated as a pianist, clarinettist and percussionist at The Purcell School of Music from the age of 11 years. He was a percussion scholar at The Royal Academy of Music, 1997-2002, where he received the prestigious Zildjian Cymbal Prize, graduating from the postgraduate diploma course with a DipRam.
Dan has now been playing both percussion and timpani professionally for over 15 years. He has performed with a number of leading professional orchestras around Great Britain, holding a longstanding relationship with the Ulster Orchestra and more recently with the Royal Opera House Orchestra. Dan also has a substantial portfolio of work with West End and touring shows that started with the percussion chair at Wicked the Musical in London's West End for the show’s first three years, and has included memorable years at Legally Blonde and more recently, Dreamgirls, both at the Savoy Theatre. Along side this, Dan has also managed to kept up a full, busy and varied schedule of independent and session work. This has included playing and recording for various pop & rock artists, as well as for movies, computer games and adverts in many of the country’s leading studios. Dan has also been a member of a number of house bands for television series on, amongst others, the BBC and ITV networks and has taught in a number of schools in and around London.
Some highlights over the last few years have been playing with Robbie Williams during his six-month world tour, Swings Both Ways; Dreamgirls the musical and in 2018: with Jon Cleary on Later with Jools and at the Jazz Café; for the Quincy Jones 85th Anniversary Concert at the O2; and memorable and enjoyable stints in the pit at the Royal Opera House.
Away from performing music, Dan is an enthusiastic sports fan, a long standing and committed bedroom DJ and enjoys time in the kitchen cooking in his Arsenal apron. Benefiting from his duel British and Cameroonian heritage, Dan is a fluent French speaker who loves to travel and experience different cultures, and feels privileged that music has given him the opportunity to play around the world.
Dan has been a Protection Racket Artist since 2008, and for the last 2 years, has also been a Sabian Cymbals endorsee. Last year he also became part of the LP family. He would like to thank everyone at Protection Racket, Sabian UK & LP for their continued support.
WickedTheMusical '06 - '09- London Pit
Legally Blonde '09 - '12 London Pit