Kelly Brand

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Kelly Brand

Kelly Brand is a composer and a pianist. She writes songs which carry the listener to places simultaneously evident and quite unfamiliar. She effectively taps into essential elements of living and being human. Her way of playing embraces a simple and selfless honesty. She doesn't throw her music at you, but rather extends it as an invitation.

Kelly Brand performance

Kelly Brand is an active performer on the Chicago jazz scene. In addition to club and lounge gigs she has played three times at the Chicago Jazz Festival. In 1995 she performed at the Ravinia summer jazz series with her Sextet and in 2000 at the Elkhart Jazz Festival with her Nextet.

In 1999, Kelly Brand joined Marion McPartland on stage at Ravinia for some impromptu double piano jazz playing. Ms. McPartland earlier wrote for her first CD liner notes that she writes as she plays, with elegance and sensitivity. That CD was well received. The Chicago Reader 1996 stated that everything she writes has a noteworthy craftsmanship and flowing serene energy. From The Chicago Sun Times 1996: "This artist has a flowing winsome style as a pianist and an even more impressive harmonic sense as a composer." Jazz Tracks 1997: "The arrangements are both soulful and deeply involved."

Kelly Brand residencies

In 2001 and 2003, Kelly Brand was chosen to receive residencies at Ragdale, an internationally acclaimed artists' retreat. She was among ten top Chicago jazz pianists who performed at Symphony Center for Marshall Field’s Great Day of Music in 2003. She also performed on Joe Segal’s Caribbean Jazz Cruise that same year. In 2005, she played at the Chicago Jazz Festival and The Cabin Fever Jazz Series with Bobbi Wilsyn’s all women jazz ensemble, SHE.

Kelly Brand most recent CD on the Chicago Lakeside Jazz label includes three originals and tunes by Roland Kirk, Richard Rodgers, Bobby Hutcherson, and Chick Corea. The Nextet features top Chicago players Art Davis, Louis Stockwell, Kelly Sill, Tim Davis, and Eric Montzka. This new CD has already garnered positive attention. It received three stars from The Chicago Sun Times.

Her playing and writing is also represented on three popular jazz compilation CDs. Ladies in Jazzland an internationally released compilation which includes Abbey Lincoln and Maria Schneider. The other two are Women Who Swing Chicago and Mile by Jazz Mile, both featuring prominent Chicago jazz artists.

Kelly Brand is an experienced teacher and clinician. She has taught for the Merit School of Music and in the Ravinia Music Illumination Program. Currently she is performing with Ari Brown and Kelly Sill in Chicago schools with the Pangaea Trio, sponsored by the International Music Foundation, an umbrella group of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Related Listings

Country United States
City Chicago
State/Province Illinois
Performer Type Musical Act
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