liberty ellman

Liberty Ellman with his main electric axe, a Collings I-35 LC. “It’s got a great weight and is nice and small but sounds really rich—no less rich than the ’65 ES-355 that was my main guitar for a while.”

An emerging 6-string titan on developing his distinct style and sound, fanning the flames of inspiration, composing and improvising, and his cool guitar collection.

Not long ago, guitarist Liberty Ellman got a mysterious phone call from the saxophonist and bandleader Henry Threadgill, who asked him to meet for breakfast and some “information.”

“Henry had just gotten back from Cuba, and I thought ‘information’ was a code word for rum or cigars,” says Ellman, laughing. “But it turns out he had seen a great band there playing a music called trova, which features the tres. [The tres is a guitar-like instrument with 6 strings tuned in 3 courses.] He handed me a tres he’d brought back, and I said, ‘Oh my god, do you expect me to learn to play this?’”

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