WXTJ Jamz: Ellis Nolan Trio

WXTJ Jamz” is a new live performance series produced by WXTJ Student Radio 100.1 FM, a parody a NPR’s Tiny Desk — which we love. We wouldn’t be able to make this happen without the help of our sister station, WTJU 91.1 FM. First up on WTJU’s cozy little stage is the Ellis Nolan Trio featuring guest Saxophonist Nick Wu.

Ellis Nolan (Bass) is a musician and rising fourth year student at UVA. He is double majoring in music and media studies and studies bass under Pete Spaar. Currently, Ellis plays bass in the UVA Jazz Ensemble directed by John D’Earth, and in various bands around Charlottesville. He has also played with groups such as the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Youth Orchestra and the UVA Salsa Club band. When he’s not on stage he likes taking care of his plants, watching the birds, and trying new food.

Fun fact: Ellis also does graphic design in his free time, and you can find a lot of his media work under the name “heroellis.” He created a fun merch design for our DJs to wear on t-shirts and hoodies as a part of our Spring 2022 design contest.

Orion Faruque (Drums) is a multi-instrumentalist and composer from Charlottesville VA who works as producer, mentor and educator. Spending his early years improvising on piano and drum set, Orion received a Bachelor of Science in Music Production from Mcnally Smith College of Music in 2014 and has been active in studio, onstage and via the internet since. His complex background ranging from a tree top zipline guide to jazz drummer helps Orion write from a genuine and direct voice when he releases music as Orion and the Melted Crayons.

Zack Cross (Keys) started his classical piano training at age 6 and quickly discovered a deep passion for music. After discovering a love for jazz in his middle and high school years, Zack went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. Since graduating in 2010, Zack has been very active as a performer and studio musician, working with nationally touring groups, while also producing music from his home.

Together, they form the Ellis Nolan Trio.

This performance also features guest Saxophonist Nick Wu. Also a rising fourth year student at UVA, Nick considers himself a hobbyist musician who spends his free time crafting jazz-influenced music and arrangements of video game music that he enjoys. Check out some of his originals and more on his YouTube channel.

Set List

“Tenor Madness” – Sonny Rollins
“The Girl from Ipanema” – Antônio Carlos Jobim
“It’s On” – George Duke


Producers – Ashley Park, Ellis Nolan
WXTJ Director – Ashley Park
Video + Editing – Ashley Park
Performers – Ellis Nolan, Orion Faruque, Zack Cross, Nick Wu
Audio Engineer – Ben Larsen
Mix + Master – Caelan Shawyer
Special Thanks – WTJU 91.1 FM

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