Kelly Friesen
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Kelly Friesen

Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter


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The best kept secret in music


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•Kelly Friesen’s new release “Sings Songs of Love” —Spring 2006
•Anja Baron’s film “Last of the First” featuring: The Harlem Renaissance Band opened at the Tribeca Film Festival—2004
•Michael Hashim Quintet, live Sydney Bechet Society recording, NYC—2003.
•Keith Ingham Trio, Live at the New Jersey Jazz Festival —2002.
•Kelly Friesen and Gritty City Swing NYC—2001.
•Woody Allen’s “Sweet and Lowdown” film and Sony soundtrack—2000.
•Frank Lillie Quintet “Shadow Play” —2000.
•Bob Ward’s New York Quintet—The Persuader—1999.
•Peter Ecklund, Gigs: Reminiscing in Music—1999.
•Michelle Pastre, Live in France featuring: Al Casey and David “Bubba” Brooks—1999.
•Felix Endico Big Band, NYC—1998.
•Eric Felton Big Band, Washington D.C.—1998.
•Kelly Friesen debut CD “Back in Time” featuring: George Kelly and Howard Alden 1998.
•Modus Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival, live —1997.
•Dresden Traditional Jazz Festival, live —1997.
•Raphael Lemonnier, Jazz Trio CD— 1997.
•Lorne Lovsky, Winnipeg Jazz Festival, live—1995
•Vandorn (Danish Singer), Banff Alberta featuring: Kenny Wheeler and Don Thompson—1994


Feeling a bit camera shy


Canadian-born, Bassist/Vocalist Kelly Friesen has played music ranging from 1920’s style Dixieland with “Woody Allen’s” New Orleans Jazz Band (1997-2001) to Beethoven’s 5th with the Julliard Symphony Orchestra, to straight ahead Pop with “Sister Sledge” (We Are Family).

His formal training included Classical studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto for bass, piano, voice and theory. He also received 4 years of private instruction with legendary Jazz Bassist Ray Brown (1993-1997) and Classicist Homer Mensch.

As a singer Kelly has been compared to the likes of Nat King Cole and Chet Baker which is clearly evident on his debut CD “Back in Time” released in 1997 featuring Howard Alden and George Kelly.

Since moving to New York in 1993 Kelly has firmly established himself as a top sideman and leader working with jazz greats such as Herb Ellis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Etta Jones, Dick Hyman, Jerome Richardson, Frank Wess and Joe Wilder to name a few. Some of his credits as sideman and/or leader in New York City include performances at Town Hall, The Blue Note, Birdland, The Jazz Standard, The 92nd Street Y Jazz Series, JVC Jazz Festival, The Iridium, and The Rainbow Room.

Kelly has appeared in two feature films including Woody Allen’s “Sweet and Lowdown” (1999) featuring Sean Penn and Uma Thurman, and the critically acclaimed documentary “Last of the First” produced by Anja Baron, featuring the “Harlem Renaissance Orchestra” which opened at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to being in the film, his unique “Slap Bass” style is featured on the entire Sony soundtrack of “Sweet and Lowdown.”

Kelly has toured extensively with various groups in the US, Canada, Japan, Turkey, France and Germany.

Currently Kelly can be seen singing and playing at a variety of venues in and around NYC. He has had a steady gig at Shelly’s New York (one of New York’s leading Jazz clubs) for the past 5 years. His next CD “Sings Songs of Love” is to be released in the spring of 2006.

Kelly’s unique approach to his music clearly shows a respect for the past while maintaining a pulse for the future.