Although she took music lessons on a flute at an early age and then choir at Vanderbilt University, a gift of a Sarah Vaughan album was the impetus which turned a passing interest in singing to Eugenia Elliott's successful endeavor to become part of the vocal sorority. Family also played a major role in Elliott's move toward a musical career. Her grandmother taught her piano and her mother produced her first album, Where or When. Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Ernestine Anderson and Rebecca Parris are cited by Elliott as "voices" which helped her find her own singing style. Moving to Chicago in 1991, she sang at open mikes and such Chicago bistros as Yvette Wintergarden, Espial and Pops for Champagne. She hooked up with players on the Chicago scene, among them pianists Bobby Schiff and Brad Williams and trumpet player Warren Kime. She appeared on Kime's and Schiff's album, Concerto for 2 released in 1998. They also appear on her Where or When for Southport Records. Released in 1998, the session teams Elliott with some very good Chicago-based musicians. Like many of her generation struggling to get a solid foothold in the business, Elliott holds down a job as a clinical social worker. She feels there is a symbiotic bond between the two professions in that both are dedicated to relationships, communication and, in a sense, healing.
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