Arzell"Papazell"Nelson was born in the"City of the Seven Hills", Cincinnati, Ohio(also known as, "Little Italy"). He attended Burdett Elementary, Sawyer Jr. High, Indian Hill High, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bible Seminary and The Cincinnati Theological Seminary(AB).He was greatly influenced by his parents(Willie & Parrie) and grandmother(Nettie). His father made his first instrument...a bamboo flute(at age 5). At the age of 5, his father introduced Arzell to the violin,drums and piano.
Papazell started experimenting with songwriting, playing the trombone, baritone (horns) and guitar while in Junior High. Papazell is a improvisational Jazz Piano Player. He received the "Kool Jazz Festival Award" for his original musical "Little Boy Jazz" performed at the "Tony Award Winning" Playhouse In the Park Marx Theater.He is the CEO of LEG RECORDS in which he launched to produce the great Jazz legend "Ms. Billie Walker"(pianist) along with Chico McNeal. He studied with three great jazz pianist: Danny Weaver, O'Dell Jackson and Frank Wolfe. He also has played with Tony Coates(vocals&guitar), Dewight Trible(vocals), Alfred Beasley(drums&percussions),Stanley Stick Burke(guitar&keyboards) Bill Haynes (sax), Jymii Crawford ( bass&guitar), Rodney Abrams(guitar) Steve Neil (bass), John Wright (sax), Champ Childress(trombone),Sheldon Reynolds, (guitar&vocals), Elvin Jones(drums), Tom Collins (sax) Terri Sheridan (sax, vocals&guitar), Lionel Jobe (jazz producer & drums) Aurrell Ray(guitar), Mark Diamond (jazz composer&pianist),Carroll Williams(vocals), Don Williams(sax)Ed Badger (sax), Sadie Birch (vocals), Melvin Broach(drums) Guy Maganello(piano),Rasstar(sax&vocals) and a host of other great jazz artist. Papazell has opened up on stage with such artist, such as, Stanley Turntine, Jeff Lober, Hiroshima, Phylis Hymen, Philip Bailey, George Dukes, Freddie Hubbard and David Valentine(flute) . As a composer, PapaZell has written 5 musicals and over 300 songs. His earlier recordings were recorded during the mid 70's in New York City at Columbia Records. His music compositional work at that time was of contemporary style and most of his music arrangements were of the disco/dance genres
Also, Arzell has promoted shows, such as, Destiny's Child, John B, Jagged Edge, Freddie Jackson, Melba Moore, Whispers, Barry White,Prince, Huey Lewis & The News,and the "COORS & BUDWEISER JAZZ EXPLOSION CONCERT SERIES"
Arzell retired as the Executive Director of Cincinnati Human Relations Commission in 1998.During his career with the Commission,Arzell was presented the key to the City of Cincinnati by three different Mayors.The Governor George Voinovich of Ohio recognized his work by proclamation on two different occasions for civic leadership and for promoting cultural diversity. President Clinton recognized Arzell with two letters of appreciation for service rendered. In addition, he received the following awards:
Theodore M. Berry Leadership Award, Mark of Excellence Award(Public Administrators)and Berry Gotchaulk Award. The Ukraine Government presented Arzell with the 50th Anniversary of WWII and Desert Storm/Desert Memorial Watches in 1995. He also was enshrined in a public place in the Ukraine as a testament of his service in the area of crisis intervention and human relations.
His wife Cynthia is his greatest supporter along with his son and daughter(Monica Mackey and Craig Boyd)
Currently,he is CEO of the L'lezra Entertainment Group. He runs the company with his long time associate, Abraham Cheatham, who is COO of the company. Over 30 artist have signed with the company with their music ranging from hip-hop, jazz, rock/blues, reggae,pop, trance, dance, world beat and r&b/soul.You can copy the following link to play his latest CD..."Playboyz Don't Play" http://free.napster.com/player/?play_id=12489252&type=album