Junior Cook. This way, Kelly was taught both formally and informally. He entered the traditional rites of passage essential to all musicians. By spending time with and playing in jam sessions with older great musicians, the spirit of the music was passed on to Kelly. He started learning from and being mentored outside of school settings by saxophone masters Junior Cook and Gary Bartz. During high school Kelly met a friend and teacher for life in Jamal Wilson. Mr. Wilson mentored and taught Kelly about many things. He introduced Kelly to a technique for tone production aimed at playing with a healing sound. "Although I didn't consciously know how to articulate it at the time, I was longing for this approach to music. I was enamored by the music of John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix. Mr. Wilson taught me that being a good person would be my path to success. He tied all of that into the technique of playing.. He taught me about many things and he helped me to put all that I was learning from other great music teachers, under one umbrella. He taught me that love, respect and compassion for all living beings was essential. Honestly, I couldn't have asked for more... A great classical teacher Dr. Chris Ford, two world renowned saxophone masters Junior Cook and Gary Bartz, an incredible singer in my dad, and a master teacher in Mr. Wilson. All while I was in high school! I had the education that money could never buy. I had the best of all worlds.." As a performer, Kelly realized his dreams and went on to share the stage with some of the greatest musicians in the world working with jazz luminaries such as Curtis Fuller, Cecil McBee, Richard Wyands, Leroy Williams, Larry Willis, Virgil Jones, Grady Tate, Charles Davis and many more. His debut recording THE BEAUTY OF SIMPLICITY (available on iTunes) instantly received radio air play in the US and abroad. His second recordingDREAMWORLD, a collaborative effort with some of the best musicians in the world featured an eclectic set of originals and standards. Kelly has performed at many major festivals in the U.S and abroad and has conducted many workshops and clinics at universities, colleges, grade schools, and arts & community centers. Kelly also owns and runs Kelly's Music & More...a specialized music school for really gifted young musicians and adults. Kelly is very devoted to the students and the school.
In the spirit of artists like Pharoah Sanders, Rassahn Roland Kirk, Sidney Bechet, Charles Lloyd, Jimi Hendrix, and Joni Mitchell, Nomad Stories is the true essence of the American and human experience. NoMad Stories provides an electrical, on the edge of your seat, emotionally moving experience for their audience. You are bound to travel the earth hearing the rhythms and sounds of jazz, calypso, gospel, funk, American pop and folk music, South America, the avant garde and Asian music. "Our music has the blues in it and it's the natural culmination of all our experiences... you truly hear the stories of the earth and universal human condition in our music.. the blues is the same feeling all over the world. I think you can hear the blues in Mozart, Trane or Dylan...
Raised in a musical household, Kelly was exposed to all styles of music by his father who was a musician. James Brown, Stevie Wonder, John Coltrane, Motown, and the asian music his mom sang for him were just some of the sounds Kelly absorbed as a child... After moving from Korea to Hawaii to Baltimore, Kelly started his formal musical studies at Peabody Conservatory in Md at the age of 10. This was a major turning point in Kelly's life. At age 13, Kelly auditioned for and was accepted into The Baltimore School for the Performing Arts. While studying classical saxophone with Dr. Chris Ford at BSA, he would frequently visit his father, a jazz singer, in New York City. There he was around and learned from the best musicians in the world with whom his father was working. Musicians like Bill Hardman and
to us, it's the natural music of now .. we aren't a retro group.. The music sounds very natural and cohesive. It moves from vulnerable and delicate to passionate and powerful.. Our emphasis and goal lies in rhythms and the manipulation of tone and resonance." Longing for a world with no genres, we travel the musical spheres with no boundary, touching and reflecting the ancient, aboriginal stories of the earth, and simultaneously reaching the outermost expanse of the modern spheres, acoustic and electric.
These are the NoMad Stories.