View RSS Feed


Mandolin Mondays #342 w/ Special Guest Wyatt Ellis

Rate this Entry
Returning to Mandolin Mondays this week we have 13 year old Wyatt Ellis from Maryville, TN near the foothills of the Smokey Mountains playing an original tune called "Whites Creek" on his Gibson mandolin.

Bluegrass music is known for nurturing young musicians, so it is relatively common to spot the early rising stars of the genre. However, the sudden success of Wyatt Ellis, during the pandemic, was quite unexpected. Looking back now, it’s easy to see his love for music has been there all along. When he was nine years old, Wyatt heard Bill Monroe for the first time and fell in love with bluegrass music. Shortly after that, he talked his dad into buying him a used mandolin off the wall at a Knoxville music store. “Bill Monroe is my biggest musical inspiration. He created a whole vocabulary for the mandolin,” said Wyatt. “There is just something real about bluegrass. The first time I heard him I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Before the pandemic, Wyatt was spending upwards of three hours a day shuttling between Boy Scouts, Taekwon-Do, soccer practice, and squeezing in a weekly 30-minute mandolin lesson: pretty much the life of an active 10-year-old boy. Abruptly, most of that stopped, leaving him at home (fortunately with his mandolin). Due to a series of soccer injuries, Wyatt spent his first six months playing mandolin with a twice-broken wrist.

“I got serious about mandolin during 2020 when everything shut down,” said Wyatt. “When the pandemic began, I lost all of my real life connections to music. I don’t have any musicians in my family, but I found an entire bluegrass community online.” Since then, Wyatt has spent more time growing his music and connecting with many other artists and mentors. In 2020, he was chosen for a Tennessee Folklife apprenticeship with Sierra Hull. In 2021, Wyatt was chosen as a Gibson Generation Artist–the first ever for bluegrass and the mandolin! Wyatt was chosen for another Tennessee Folklife apprenticeship in 2021 with Paul Brewster on bluegrass vocals. In 2022, Wyatt was accept as a student of Bobby Osborne through a scholarship the Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional music. Wyatt and Bobby are currently working through each of the instrumentals on Bobby’s album Bobby and His Mandolin.

In addition to learning hundreds of fiddle tunes, Wyatt has learned most of Bill Monroe’s tunes note-for-note on mandolin. He has been a student in Christopher Henry and David McLaughlin’s Monroe Workshop Series since its inception in 2020. In addition to these apprenticeships and workshops, the pandemic opened a world of virtual learning at the knee of some of the best mandolin players in the world. Wyatt has written over 60 instrumentals in the past two years. He is currently working on an album of original tunes that were inspired by, or co-written with, twelve of his mandolin heroes! Wyatt also began playing guitar and fiddle in 2021 and is well on his way to becoming a bluegrass multi-instrumentalist.#However, mandolin will always be his first musical love.

Be sure to connect with Wyatt at the following links below for more information about his music:

And as always, tune in next week for more Mandolin Mondays! Until then...

Happy Picking!

Submit "Mandolin Mondays #342 w/ Special Guest Wyatt Ellis" to Facebook Submit "Mandolin Mondays #342 w/ Special Guest Wyatt Ellis" to Yahoo Submit "Mandolin Mondays #342 w/ Special Guest Wyatt Ellis" to Google

Updated Jul-25-2022 at 8:37am by dbmandolin



  1. addamr's Avatar
    Loved it. 60 original instrumentals, that's awesome. Look forward to hearing more.

  2. mingusb1's Avatar
    Cool tune and red hot pickin!
  3. Denny Gies's Avatar
    Wow, I'm jealous.
  4. Todd Bowman's Avatar
    Great tune! Great picking! Thank you, Wyatt, for sharing!!
  5. bgpete's Avatar
    Wow! Fine playing, great original tune!
  6. Cheryl Watson's Avatar
    Wyatt, I love your playing and what a great original instrumental! Two broken wrists have not even stopped you. You are on fire!!
  7. Franc Homier Lieu's Avatar
    Fantastic tune, and incredibly powerful tone he is getting out of that mandolin. Really great match between player and instrument, it seems to me.
  8. Josh Levine's Avatar
    Way to go Wyatt! Sounding great as usual.
  9. darylcrisp's Avatar
    That was amazing.