Eli Chalmer is a freelance trombonist, band-leader, electronic musician, and composer, based out of Brooklyn, New York. Born and raised in Vermont, he fell in love with the trombone when he was 10 years old, after he saw that it was the only brass instrument “without buttons”. His talent was nurtured by the art-friendly Green Mountain State, where he became a soloist and principal trombone in the Vermont Youth Orchestra, and won the All-State scholarship competition for Classical, Jazz, and Composition all in the same year. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Orchestral Trombone Performance from McGill University, studying under the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s principal trombonist, James Box. Of his many classical performances, he has played with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, the Empire State Sinfonia, the New York Theater Workshop, Lyric Theater Company, and the Griffon Brass Band. Alongside his training in classical music, he has easily segued into a wide variety of genres, including Jazz, Funk, Hip Hop, Pop, Musical Theater, Indie Rock, and Electronica. In the studio, he has recorded on tracks that feature such notable artists as Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Talib Kweli, Melanie Fiona, Vernon Reid, and Anais Mitchell. On stage he has performed across the US, Canada, Europe, and the UK, and alongside artists such as Mike Clarke, Anais Mitchell, Arturo O'Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Everett Bradley, Rachel York, Sean Hayes, Tao Nguyen, Deekline, Slavic Soul Party, and High and Mighty Brass Band.
In addition to studio and freelance trombone work, he is also an accomplished band-leader. His Montreal-based Nu-Jazz group, Panacea, toured across Canada and the United States, and also was featured on radio and print in Europe. Currently, he leads the Brooklyn-based Electro-Jazz outfit Durians. Durians has released three albums, was just signed to international record label Bit Normal Records in May, 2016, and has performed a tour of UK and Europe in June, 2016.
His playing has been described by the press as follows:
-"After two minutes at a feverish level, Chalmer floats in with a caressing freefall of smooth swells from his trombone... When they explode into these funkadelic trips, Chalmer's brass trombone sweats and his ballooned cheeks squeeze into the bristling four-way encounters of strings, skins, brass, and keys." - The Concordia, Montreal, Canada
-"Every band member perceptibly felt the music he created" - McGill Tribune, Montreal, Canada
-"Eli Chalmer coaxes round, warm tones... ...crystalline chimes dance against a swelling backdrop of synth, pirouetting with Chalmer's lithe trombone. It's a soothing sonic bubble bath, Epsom salts for the ears." - Seven Days, Burlington, VT