Daniel Kelly

Daniel Kelly


Composer and pianist, Daniel Kelly has developed his own personal and unique approach to jazz. As comfortable with keyboards, samplers and electronic sound manipulation as he is with acoustic piano, he has innovated original ways to incorporate these instruments into his own sound world.


Early in his career, Daniel toured as a member of an eleven-piece jazz-funk band led by Miles Davis’ lead bassist, Foley McCreary, performing at festivals throughout Europe. He then moved to New York City, where he was soon heard by legendary bassist, Harvie S (formerly known as Swartz), who immediately asked him to join his band, Eye Contact. On Eye Contact's CD, New Beginning, Daniel performed with other jazz giants, such as saxophonist Michael Brecker.

Daniel has exemplified his wide range of abilities by performing with everyone from hip-hop/R&B star Lauryn Hill, Latin Jazz conga virtuoso Ray Barretto, jazz master Eddie Henderson to avant-garde bassists William Parker and Mark Dresser and downtown legend, John Zorn. He has become the pianist for Grammy-nominated drummer and bandleader, Bobby Sanabria and renowned storyteller and poet, David Gonzalez. Along with Gonzalez, Daniel was a repertory artist for the Lincoln Center Institute from 2002-2005 and performed the music of classical composer Sergei Prokofiev in a Broadway production at the New Victory Theater in spring 2006.

Daniel has studied with Kenny Werner, Richie Beirach and Fred Hersch. He has also performed several times at such esteemed venues as The Blue Note, Birdland and the Guggenheim Museum.

In 2005, Daniel was honored to be the featured composer at the NOW Music Festival. Held annually at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, this festival features new music by America’s leading composers. Daniel presented original compositions performed by himself and his ensemble, Duets with Ghosts.

Daniel’s interests also lie in forging new sounds in the realm of contemporary classical music and improvisation. He co-leads the improvisatory group, Liquid Ensemble, which blends electronic and acoustic instruments to create cinematic compositions. This group has composed extensively for theater and dance. Music from their premiere CD, Fifteen, was used in a production of Murder, Madness and Lady Macbeth performed in Denmark in July 2003.

Daniel was chosen by the US State Department to be a Jazz Ambassador, performing a six-week tour to India, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam and Bangladesh. This highly prestigious honor is only awarded to a few groups each year that travel to developing countries to perform concerts and workshops.

Daniel's talents as film composer can be heard in the films, The Receipt, Suzana’s Dreams, Below the Belt, which was awarded Best Film of the Oregon Film Festival and most recently, The Legend of Johnson Roebling.


2006 Daniel Kelly's Duets with Ghosts: Dada Mechanica
Daniel Kelly, Piano Improvisations
Harvie S, Funky Cha
2004 Harvie S, Texas Rumba*
2003 Daniel Kelly & Eyal Maoz, Unearthed*
2002 Liquid Ensemble, Pushing Upward*
Daniel Kelly, Duets with Ghosts
2001 Harvie S & Eye Contact, New Beginning (w/ Michael Brecker)
2000 Liquid Ensemble, Fifteen*
Daniel Kelly, World*
1999 Avant Collective*
1998 Christian Howes, Ten Yard*

* Indicates composer credit

Set List

Original Music:
Sixth Sense
Catching That Stride
Fallen Star
58 Years

Set Length Flexible - Two 1-Hour Sets
    or One 90-Minute Set