Kelle Jolly, Singer and Ukulele Player, is a Knoxville Celebrity

Ukulele Player, Costumer, Award Winning Singer Kelle Jolly

I heard the name of singer and ukulele player, Kelle Jolly; for some time; but it wasn't until my brother, writer and composer Paul Brody arrived from Berlin to write a radio piece that I made an effort to hear her perform. As it turned out the event that we were to attend had a last minute cancellation. Finally, by coincidence, I stopped by WDVX(wearing a Guitar Purse of course) to get a parking pass, and low and behold, there was Kelle Jolly with her ukulele ready to perform for the Blue Plate Special. Plan change...her voice was a sweet dream.

  1. 1. Violettes: Wow, what a voice! Did you have some voice coaches growing up? Where did this come from, besides obviously being born dripping with talent. Who did you learn from?

    merican gifts, Gift ideas for Music Lovers, Guitar Purse Kelle Jolly, singer and ukulele player performing with her husband Will Boyd.

    Kelle Jolly: I don't remember a time when I did not sing. My parents sang to us around the house. I guess it was just a natural thing to pick up. And I did not have a choral program at my high school in Decatur, Ga. I have a B.S. in Music Education from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC. I chose music because I had scholarships to play mellophone and French Horn in the band. I have not studied voice with anyone since college.

  2.  2. Violettes: How did you get into fashion design? Did you take any courses in it?
  3.  Kelle Jolly: I thought I could sew at the age of 3. I knew I wanted to be an artist or an architect. Fashion combines those interests, expression of art plus mathematics and science. I have never taken a class for it. But maybe I should. For two years, I entered my wearable art in the Dogwood Arts Festival Wearable Art Show. One year I was awarded the Emerging Artist Award. It motivated me to keep creating. I love costumes. Once, I designed a dress for a period documentary, LOST STATE OF FRANKLIN. It was the dress for the Bonny Kate character. Right now I am exploring Steampunk designs.

  4. 3. Violettes: You are always dressed and styled (hair) so tastefully for your performances, that I have seen (from photos on-line). I couldn’t fix my hair for an event to save my life – is this just a natural talent also? Or did you have some formal training? It makes sense for fashion to be part of a music degree, as musicians have to present themselves as a package. Kelle Jolly: Most of the time I style my own hair. Sometimes my friends braid it for me. I'm pretty thrifty. It saves me money to style my own hair. You're not really making money if you have to spend in order to perform. I try to keep my cost low by sewing my own clothes and doing my hair.

  5. 4. Violettes: You won the Community Shares Artist Change Award – What kind of change did you represent?
  6. Kelle Jolly: I didn't nominate myself. I wouldn't say that I deserved it. But I guess that others felt that I did. You can't assume how your God-given talents will affect people. All you can do is try be a light.

  7. 5. Violettes: You have a television program now. Can you tell us about it?
  8. Kelle Jolly: For about 5 years, I have been co-hosting a community access show, WHAT'S GOING ON WITH ROBERT MINTER. We interview Knoxvillians who have information to share with the community about events and current affairs. I enjoy it because I have made lots of new friends through it.

  9. 6. Violettes: What time and what channel?
  10. Kelle Jolly: Our time changes every 6 months. So a new time will be announced. The channel is Community Television. Or you can watch it online at

  11. 7. Violettes: Do you have any specific plans for special projects or events in the future that you can tell us about?
  12. Kelle Jolly: I was recently hired by WUOT to host a new vocal jazz radio show, JAZZ JAM WITH KELLE JOLLY. It comes on every Friday at 8:00pm. I play local, regional, national and international jazz vocalists, classic to modern. It is pre-recorded, so I like to host listening parties in the community so I can enjoy it with the audience. Radio dejaying is fun because you can do it with your pajamas on. And no one knows. Thank you for the opportunity to share Becky.  See Kelle Jolly in her element in this video –


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