Guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and band leader.


Trio EWM is a close-knit unit featuring guitarist John Ehlis, saxophonist Tony White, and percussionist Ray McNamara.

With an already rich and full musical palette, these artists, who have appeared together in various configurations over the years, are brought together by the common desire to create great music, music that is comprised of a diverse range of moods, grooves and soundscapes. 

In this trio format they produce a sound that is rich, full and refreshing.  There is a natural flow and ease to be heard in their music, where there is space to breathe along with a willingness to let go and to go beyond the familiar. 

Though their repertoire highlights works from Ehlis's steady pen, they are likely to include music by artists such as Don Cherry and Yusef Lateef on their programs.

In this setting these artists do what they do best, telling one story together, one story at a time.

A native of Los Angeles, Tony White began his music career on clarinet switching to tenor saxophone in high school.   Through years of dedicated work with the young people in the greater Los Angeles area, he  realized that he needed to be performing more himself.  Encouraged by jazz artists Michael Brecker, Buddy Collette, Ernie Watts and others, Tony began performing and/or studying with notable artists including Jeff Clayton, Gerald Wilson, Billy Mitchell, Bill Green, Art Davis, Bernie Worrell and Walter Smith III.

New Jersey based guitarist John Ehlis is drawn to traditional and folk music from around the world, and has performed with artists ranging from saxophonists Oliver Lake and John Tchicai, to vocalists Marie Afonso, Loire Cotler, frame drum master Glen Velez, Argentine guitarists Juan Falu, Quique Sinesi, singer/songwriter Scott E. Moore, Basque musicians Kepa Junkera, Tapia and Leturria,   Danish drummer Kresten Osgood, Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen and many others.

Ray McNamara is a master drummer and percussionist with an insightful knowledge of rhythms from around the world.  Ray grew up in Chicago and began exploring rhythm at an early age and earned degrees from Northern Illinois University and the CalArts School.  Ray has toured the U.S., Caribbean and Japan with his group the “Calypso Pirates”, and appears on recordings by Daniel Lentz, Harold Budd, Peter Harper, Zadonu African Group, Lowen and Navarro and Christopher Young, as well as with his groups, Damaru, and The Calypso Pirates.