Cookin’ Up Jazzy Tunes and Plant-Based Recipes with Kelle Jolly


INTRO: One of my favorite episodes of Jazzy Vegetarian on public television this season is show 605, “Jazzin’ Up Veggies!” In this jazzylicious episode, I had so much fun in the kitchen with my friend—the fabulously talented jazz singer, Kelle Jolly. We prepared Root Veggie and Lentil Trio Stew, a satisfying combo of vegetables combined with hearty lentils, along with my Festive Sweet Potato Pie, a yummy dessert for the holidays! Plus,Kelle and I cooked up some jazzy tunes—with Kelle singing and playing her ukulele along with her husband, Will Boyd, on flute. It was a real blast!

In January, this episode will air multiple times nationally on CREATE TV (January 6th and 7th), so be sure to check your local listings—you won’t want to miss it!

This week on the Jazzy Vegetarian blog, we are pleased to welcome back our wonderful guest blogger, Nicky VanValkenburgh, who is a vegan, wife, mom and writer from South Carolina. Nicky recently chatted with Kelle Jolly via phone, and today she shares the interview with us. Thank you Nicky!


Occasionally Vegetarian: 
Kelle Jolly isn’t “all the way” plant-based, 
but something about Jazzy Vegetarian caught her eye

By Nicky VanValkenburgh

Kelle Jolly—a  jazz singer, television and radio personality from Knoxville—stumbled upon the Jazzy Vegetarian TV show while flipping channels. 

Although Kelle and her husband, saxophonist Will Boyd, are not vegetarian, they love to eat lots of plant-based food. They are inspired by Laura Theodore’s fresh, colorful, tasty and easy-to-prepare recipes. 

“I love learning new ways to prepare food. We try to eat healthy, which is challenging. Sometimes we work long days. I like to prepare healthy food using delicious recipes. You just can’t survive without eating well, and getting plenty of rest,” said Kelle.

Kelle contacted Laura Theodore through the website and invited her to perform at the “Women in Jazz Jam Festival” back in March of 2017. Now Kelle is a guest on Season Six of Jazzy Vegetarian!

Kelle Jolly is an accomplished professional vocalist, song writer and music educator. Her stage presence and unique style demonstrates a hybrid of sensitive song-styling with a burst of musical creativity. She is also known as the "Tennessee Ukulele Lady," and is one of East Tennessee's most celebrated jazz musicians. She is the founder of Ukesphere of Knoxville, a ukulele group for all ages.

As an ambassador of jazz, Kelle has traveled to Muroran, Japan as Knoxville's Sister City representative at various jazz festivals and events. Kelle is also the host of Knoxville's newest radio show on WUOT 91.9FM (, “Jazz Jam with Kelle Jolly,” an hour-long show that celebrates great local, national and international singers of jazz.

Aside from her music, Kelle enjoys gardening: “I grow herbs like thyme, mint, lavender, and rosemary. My favorite vegetable to grow is zucchini. The more it rains, the more it grows!”

Below, Kelle is pictured with her beautiful lavender plants, which she likes to add to lemonade in the summer . “My garden reminds me to grow hope,” she says.

Learn more about Kelle HERE.

Kelle’s Jazzilicious Lavender Lemonade

Makes 4 to 5 servings

2 cups boiling water

2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers

2 cups cold water

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup coconut sugar (or your favorite dry sweetener)

Start by making a tea out of the lavender. Place the lavender in a pan, and pour 2 cups boiling water over the lavender. Cover and allow to steep 10 minutes. Strain and discard the lavender from the water and pour the “lavender water” into a pitcher.

Add the sugar to the pitcher and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Add 2 cups cold water and the lemon juice, and stir until combined. Refrigerate until chilled.

To serve, put a generous amount of ice into four to five tall glasses, pour the tea over and drink up! So refreshing.


Writer Nicky Vanvalkenburgh coordinates a plant-based vegan potluck in Greenville, SC. Learn more about Nicky and the vegan potluck at:


Laura Theodore is a recognized public television personality, vegan chef, cookbook author, radio host, and award-winning actor and recording artist. Laura is the creator and on-camera host of the highly successful, Jazzy Vegetarian plant-based vegan cooking series on public television, and she is author of four vegan cookbooks, including Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics, Jazzy Vegetarian’s Deliciously Vegan and Jazzy Vegetarian. You can purchase a signed copy of any of Laura’s excellent books, HERE.

Jazzy Vegetarian has received a Top 100 Vegetarian Blog Award!