ROSEVILLE, CA (CelebrityAccess) — Vel Siva Selvan, a saxophonist better known as David Luell, and who performed with a wide range of artists from Joni Mitchell to the Supremes, died on July 10. He was 69.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Selvan began his life in music early, starting music lessons at the age of 10. He went on to attend Indiana University at Bloomington on a full scholarship and then pursued a career as a professional saxophonist.
The highlights of Vel’s music career include playing and/or touring with Joey and the Appeals, The LA Express Tour with Joni Mitchell, Great American Hall (which included members of Tower of Power), and the 49er Band for a Super Bowl in the early ‘80’s.
Over the course of said career, he performed with jazz musicians at the University of Miami, Lydia Pence and Cold Blood, Cheryl Tiburzi, Peter Morgan, John Skinner’s Band, The Duprees, The Supremes, and the Guy Lombardo Orchestra. Playing with The Everyday Show (a television show band led by Tony Berg), Vel went on tour with Bette Middler for her Broadway show and movie “Divine Madness.” Vel, along with several other musicians from The Everyday Show then went on to play for the filming of Robert Altman’s musical drama “A Perfect Couple.”
Vel experienced a mid-life spiritual awakening, converting to Saivite Hinduism and changing his name from David Luell to Vel Siva Selvan.
Vel is survived by his wife, Saroj Selvan, his son, Graham Luell, granddaughter, Sage, his sister, Lyn Freele, and many nephews, nieces, grand-nephews, and grand-nieces. A Memorial Fund is being set up through gofundme Vel Selvan Memorial Fund.