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Daniel Kelly

Jazz Pianist & Composer

Daniel Kelly & band

Recipient Information


Cold Spring, New York


Jazz Piano & Composition

Project Title

Shakespeare in Jazz

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Jazz Road Tours Grant

Grant Amount



About the Artist

An artist who has been called “stunningly original” with “a visionary imagination,” composer and pianist Daniel Kelly explores the meeting place of music with literature, visual art and journalism, captivating audiences across the country. A prolific composer and tireless musical explorer, Kelly continually seeks out new avenues for his creativity.

All the World’s a Song: Shakespeare in Jazz is Kelly’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s works into fresh and dynamic jazz songs that have audiences singing along in sheer delight. Blind Visionaries is his stunning multi-media collaboration with the pioneering group of visually-impaired photographers, the Seeing with Photography Collective.

Rakonto, Kelly’s massive ongoing series of interview-based concerts, have been commissioned by performing arts centers across the US. Each of these twelve concert-length works have transformed stories everyday people, like farmers, teachers, students, immigrants, hurricane survivors, seniors and many others from ages 4 to 94, into dramatic and compelling music that celebrates our shared human experience. Audiences around the country have been deeply moved by Kelly’s innovative joining of journalism and music that seamlessly blends recorded interviews with compelling, original compositions performed by his band of world-class musicians.

Making connections is one of Kelly’s strengths, whether it’s exploring connections between art forms or connecting with audiences. Gifted with an uncanny ear for music and story, it’s his deep sense of empathy and humanity that impacts audiences the most, making performances uplifting and emotional experiences.

Kelly’s music has been declared “powerfully moving” by Time Out New York, and he has brought his unique talent to performances with Grammy award-winning jazz legends Michael Brecker and Joe Lovano, hip-hop star Lauryn Hill, and modern classical giants the Bang on a Can All-Stars, to name a few.