The composer and pianist Kelly Brand writes songs which carry the listener to places simultaneously evident and quite unfamiliar. She effectively taps into essential elements of living and dreaming. Brand's way of playing embraces a simple and selfless honesty. She doesn't throw her music at you, but rather extends it as an invitation.
We played two shows to a packed house at the Jazz Showcase last week for the WDCB Jazz Series. WDCB is Chicago's only jazz radio station. The band also included Suzanne Palmer, Ari Brown Kelly Sill and Avreayl Ra. Lots of great gigs coming up. To folloe my performance schedule, please email me and I will put you on my Constant Contact email list.
Kelly Brand is an active performer and private teacher in the Chicago area. She plays at clubs,concerts, festivals and for private events. Kelly has performed at the Green Mill, the Jazz Showcase, Andy's Jazz Club, Pete Miller's and Katerina's. She played twice on Joe Segal's All Star Caribbean Jazz Cruise and has played a number of times at Ravinia and the Chicago jazz festival both as a leader and sideman.. She was one of ten top Chicago jazz pianists who performed at Symphony Center for Marshall Field's Great Day of Music in 2003
In 1999 Kelly joined Marion McPartland on stage at Ravinia for some impromptu duets and more recently Ms. McPartland invited Ms. Brand to perform with her trio at the legendary Jazz Showcase. .In the liner notes for. Brand's first CD. McPartland offers
"a fine young pianist who play with elegance and sensitivity."
In 2000, 2003 and 2011 and 2013, Kelly was given composer residencies at Ragdale, a renowned artists' retreat in Lake Forest, Illinois. A number of the compositions on her last two CDs we're conceived at Ragdale
Kelly's 2009 CD, The Door, on the Origin label includes mostly originals and received critical praise in many countries. Her band, The Nextet was featured at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2009. The accomplished musicians in this group include, Art Davis on trumpet, Geof Bradfield on saxes, Kelly Sill on bass, Marianne Jaime vocals and Jon Deitemyer on drums. Neil Tesser,in Jazzis says"The latest and best album by Chicago pianist/composer KellyBrand." "good stories told simply and well."
R. Doerschuk in Downbeaat says "This group sizzles and swings through ten Brand originals..
Regarding "A Dream in a Stone" her first release on the Koch/Enja label,Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun Times, said "Brand has a flowing winsome style as a pianist and an even more impressive harmonic sense as a composer." Jazz Tracks 1997."
Her playing and writing is also represented on compilation CDs including the Koch/Enja release Ladies in Jazzland which also features Abbey Lincoln and Maria Schneider. Also,the CDs "Women who swing Chicago" and "Mile by Jazz Mile"which features top Chicago performers.
Kelly Brand is an experienced and versatile private piano teacher. She enjoys teaching all ages and styles. Kelly has also taught special programs in Chicago schools,for the Ravinia Musical
outreach series, and lectured at DePaul University on jazz composition She currently performs and teaches in Chicago schools with The Pangaea Jazz Quartet, featuring Ari Brown, Kelly Sill and Avreal Ra . Pangaea's educational concerts are sponsored by the International Music Foundation, an umbrella group of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra