Black History 365: JJJJJerome Ellis

We are highlighting examples of Black excellence throughout the year! Feel free to send us suggestions!


I have an ongoing practice of spelling my name JJJJJerome Ellis in certain circumstances. I do this because the word I stutter on most frequently is my name. You can choose which spelling you prefer.

JJJJJerome Ellis is a blk disabled animal, stutterer, and artist. He prays, reads, gardens, cycles, wanders, and plays. Through music, literature, performance, and video he researches relationships among blackness, disabled speech, divinity, nature, sound, and time. Born in 1989 to Jamaican and Grenadian immigrants, he grew up and lives by a heron rookery in Virginia Beach, USA.

His diverse body of work includes: contemplative soundscapes using saxophone, flute, dulcimer, electronics, and vocals; scores for plays and podcasts; albums combining spoken word with ambient and jazz textures; theatrical explorations involving live music and storytelling; and music-video-poems that seek to transfigure historical archives. 

JJJJJerome collaborates with James Harrison Monaco as James & Jerome. Their recent work explores themes of border crossing and translation through music-driven narratives. They have received commissions from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Ars Nova.

Ellis has also been named a 2022 Disability Futures Fellow: