MII Mask
MJ 2006
About Us
Other Events


Daniel Kelly

A multi-talented composer and pianist, Daniel Kelly has developed his own personal and unique approach to jazz, Afro-Cuban music and free improvisation. As comfortable with keyboards, samplers and electronic sound manipulation as he is with acoustic piano, Daniel has innovated original ways to incorporate these instruments into his own sound world. This is evident on his two highly acclaimed CDs, World and Duets with Ghosts. He has also composed for film, theater and various multimedia performances.

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 their 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 mainstays William Parker and Mark Dresser. 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.

In 2005, Daniel was honored as 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 is also interested 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.

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 awarded anually to a very few performers who travel to developing countries for concerts and workshops.

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

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

Watch Daniel Kelly performing at Mythic Journeys '06 on YouTube

Visit Daniel Kelly on the web

Return to Participant List