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Pat Kelly

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Primary Instrument: Piano

I am an eclecticly-minded Composer/Arranger/Pianist, who has practiced his art in the Cincinnati area and beyond for nearly 30 years. Primarily self- taught as a youth, I listened to rock music, played in a pretty good band starting at age 14 where I wrote many songs, and I learned jazz by frequenting jazz clubs and playing gigs with experienced musicians. I later attended the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where I graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Music degree. At CCM, I was awarded the Bertha Langhorst Werner Scholarship in composition.

I was the original house pianist of the Cincinnati’s Blue Wisp Jazz Club upon its opening in 1979 and a member of the Jimmy McGary Quartet. Shortly thereafter I began my experiments in composing and arranging, utilizing the influences of...
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“[The] PsychoAcoustic Orchestra...they’re from Cincinnati, an unlikely home for some of the most inventive and promising big-band jazz of the 90s.”
Neil Tesser-Chicago Reader, August 30, 1996

“This powerhouse aggregation swings and surprises with a combination of dynamics and improvisation. Keyboardist-leader Pat Kelly writes eclectic arrangements for his roaring Cincinnati-based 13-piece band.”
Patricia Myers-JazzTimes, March, 1997

“Reactivation...stands out as the top local release of 1995...a sublime mix of sophistication and experimentation...If Reactivation doesn’t attract a national spotlight to Kelly and the local Jazz community, then nothing will.”
Mike Breen-CityBeat, December 14, 1995

“Late in the year Pat Kelly’s group released this breathtaking jazz album (Reactivation)...This stellar effort deserves national recognition.”
Rick Bird-The Cincinnati Post, December 28, 1995

“Absolutely outstanding.”
Keith Morris-The Cincinnati Enquirer, November 12, 1995

“These cats can play!”
Jack Bowers-Marge Hofacre’s Jazz News, May, 1994

“[The PsychoAcoustic Orchestra]...a lively and entertaining jazz orchestra.”
Derek Ansell-Jazz Journal International, Jan. 1995

“The PsychoAcoustic Orchestra stretches, but doesn’t break, the boundaries of contemporary big band tradition.”
Mark Holston-Jazziz, July, 1996

“The music of Patrick Kelly's PsychoAcoustic Orchestra offers new landscapes and environments to explore again and again. In such and orchestra (as with Gil Evans and Mingus) it is as challenging and rewarding to play inner background parts as it is to play the melody.”
Howard Johnson-Jazz multi-instrumentalist and leader of Gravity

“If you think most big band jazz needs an irreverent shot of adrenaline, tune in, turn on, and psyche out just a bit with Reactivation . You’re in for a wild ride with an often frankly sensational band.”
Tom Surowicz-Midwest Jazz, Summer, 1996

“...to say that the PAO could swing the phone book isn’t too far an argument to advance...this [Reactivation] is an impressive session in the finest big band tradition.”
Jack Bowers-Marge Hofacre’s Jazz News, Jan. 1996

“The PsychoAcoustics play with the mixture of casual precision and electric energy that Thad Jones brought to the big-band idiom in the 1960s...you owe it to yourself to listen up.”
Neil Tesser-Chicago Reader, January 20, 1995

“The PsychoAcoustic Orchestra perfectly balances a respect for the big band tradition with a healthy dose of musical irreverence. There's a special emotional energy that comes when thirteen people really enjoy playing together. Distinctive solos, imaginative writing, eclectic repertoire and great groove--this band has it all.”
Fred Hersch-Renowned jazz pianist

“As its genre-bending name suggests, The PsychoAcoustic ensemble draws on a dizzying range of musical influences, including funk, pop and various forms of the avant-garde...these musicians clearly came to town to conquer their audience. The fury of their playing in uptempo passages, the blistering work of the trumpet section, the feverish solos of each reed player made this one of the most exciting sets in the (Marshall) Vente Festival.”
Howard Reich-The Chicago Tribune, January, 1995

“The PsychoAcoustic Orchestra - Leader/pianist/arranger Pat Kelly and the gang execute corkscrew musical thought patterns a la Charles Mingus with the panache of Gil Evans and the elegance of Duke Ellington, all with searing post-modern originality.”
1997 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Nominating Guide

“Pat Kelly's wonderful aggregation, the PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, turns one's ears inside out, upside down, leftways and always the right ways. Every tune is a story with drama and humor. Great solos abound driven by a great rhythm section. And as this eclectic performance shows, this band can play anything! Pat Kelly proves himself as one of today's truly colorful and imaginative writers.”
Tim Hagans-Jazz trumpeter and composer

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