09/Sep/2017Slender Loris Review - Vital Weekly


"So let us turn to Slender Loris. You know, I learn a lot from reviewing music for Vital Weekly. Did you know that the Slender Loris is a small creature spending most of his life on the top of branches in tropical forests? Well, I didn´t. It is this name that Keith Kelly and Tony Obr choose - for whatever reason - for their duo-project. Obr is a musician, composer, sound designer, etc., from Phoenix, Arizona, who `often works at the confluence of art, technology, and performance, focusing on innovative uses of sound in a non-musical context`. Kelly I know from his free jazz unit Ask Not. Besides his activity as a saxophonist he also works as a educator. On 'Two parts Helium' we hear Kelly playing soprano, and tenor saxophone, bass clarinet and flute and Obr modular synthesizer and electronics. No wonder their improvisations are a play with the timbres
of acoustical wind instruments and synthesizers. Obr creates fascinating sounds and patterns. In the opening piece ´Tiny Bones´ his playing reminded me of the African kalimba. But he can also be very mean and aggressive. But what is more important, this strange marriage is a successful one. Partners communicate and share things and interesting dialogues develop. Absolutely a satisfying musical meeting between an electric and an acoustical instrument, which often is not "
the case. (DM)

14/Aug/2017Some MORE radio airplay for Slender Loris!


07/Aug/2017Some Radio Airplay for Slender Loris

Top 10 Experimental

Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa- Are Euphoria (THRILL JOCKEY)
Joshua Sabin-Terminus Drift (SUBTEXT)
Quentin Tolimieri-Piano (pfMENTUM)
Tiny Vipers-Laughter (BA DA BING)
Those Who Walk Away-The Infected Mass (CONSTELLATION)
Pharmakon-Contact (SACRED BONES)
Ziekratzer-Perfoms Songs from the Albums Kraftwerk & Krafterwerk 2 (KARL RECORDS)
Slender Loris-Two Parts Helium (EDGETONE)
Arve Henriksen-Towards Language (RUNE GRAMMOFON)

01/Aug/2017Some Radio Airplay for Slender Loris


05/Feb/2017Running From Bears!!!

Announcement of our release! Hoping for some reviews in the near future!


unning From Bears is an adventurous Phoenix-based jazz sextet. Formed in 2007, the group is committed to the composition and performance of original works, along with the occasional reworking of popular songs. Each player/composer has a different compositional and improvisatory voice, yielding a forward-thinking and diverse group sound.

Running From Bears is in its 10th year of a residency at The Lost Leaf, a Phoenix venue dedicated to the presentation of musical ensembles that compose their own works. The group can also be seen at other Phoenix area venues and festivals, such as The Nash, The Rhythm Room, the Tempe Festival of the Arts, and the Highland/ASU Jazz Festival.

02/Feb/2017AZ Republic Local Music Picks for February!

2/17: Running from Bears
When the members of Running from Bears started playing together a decade ago, what was lacking in Phoenix, as tenor and baritone saxophone player Keith Kelly recalls, was "a place to have creative instrumental music." Some of the players had spent time in New York, Chicago and Boston. Kelly came here from the Bay Area. "And in each of those scenes," he says, "there's a creative music outlet that's not commercially driven." When they hooked up with the guys who run the Lost Leaf, Kelly says, "We found a home base to basically kind of create a downtown arts collective. There's a whole swirl of instrumental jazz music that goes on Monday nights at the Lost Leaf. And we feel like we were there at the beginning of that rebirth of the downtown jazz scene."
That rebirth has grown stronger with the opening of the Nash, where Kelly is the director of education, guitarist Jeff Libman is vice president of the organization that oversees the group, saxophonist Eric Rasmussen runs an all-star youth group and Running from Bears are holding their release show for album coming out on Edgetone Records out of San Francisco.
"For us, a record is about documenting what we've been working on," Kelly says. "When you have six guys who all have very distinct voices as improvisers and composers, getting something out can be challenging because it is an egalitarian group. So some of this was just about putting a date in the calendar and saying, 'Hey, we're gonna book some time and take what is a massive catalog of music – I mean, if we have 100 tunes, I wouldn't be surprised – and document it."
As to what it sounds like, Kelly calls it "modern, somewhat avant-garde jazz – art music for lack of a better term." In other words, it's not what you would tend to hear on most jazz radio outlets where, as Kelly says, the sound is "meant to be familiar. For Running From Bears, he says, "part of the vision is to make things somewhat uncomfortable and unfamiliar."
Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17. The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. $15; $8 for students with ID. 602-795-0464, thenash.org.

11/Dec/2016"The Phoenix Crescendo" - Documentary by Raina Bowers

I was interviewed for a documentary about the Phoenix music scene, check it out!

29/Oct/2016Slender Loris Debut Recording

You can pre-order TWO PARTS HELIUM --- check it out!!

30/Sep/2016Digital Release of "Wilkinsemble" - WAIT FOR ME!

So excited that the recording we did last year is being released on Random Acts Records!!!

Mike Wilkinson - one of my best buds and an amazing trombone, bass trombone, flugabone, etc player teaches at University of Central Florida. He organized a recording with some of the ASU Jazz Faculty - Mike Kocour (B-3 Organ) Jeff Libman (Guitar) and Dom Moio (drums and cymbals) last year. We recorded a bunch of Wilkinson's music at Tempest Studios in Tempe, AZ. Clarke Rigsby did his usual magic recording and mixing and Nathan James put all the jazz pixie dust mastering this fun and energetic record. WOW.

I am thrilled with the outcome - thrilled to be part of such a great team of musicians supporting the vision of one of the leading trombone players and teachers in the US. Hope you get a copy!

19/Sep/2016Slender Loris!!!

The duo Slender Loris (me, and Tony Obr) will be releasing our first recording through Edgetone Records next month. It is titled "Two Parts Helium"

More info soon!!!

12/Aug/2016Ensembles at Paradise Valley CC

My main gig is as the Coordinator of Music Humanities and Performance. The PVCC Fine Arts program is top-notch! The space is community-driven on all levels, and the faculty and students are a team.

The group I am most excited about directing this year is the Composer/Improvisers Big Band. There are lots of big bands in the Valley that offer the community a space to re-create the great music of previous large jazz ensembles. We need a space to create new hybrids - new approaches, and to explore ideas that maybe haven't had their due in other performance and learning settings. I am going to document the group this year - after giving a soft-launch last school year. My goal is to share the ups and downs of this group. Stay tuned.

01/Apr/2016Recording with Tony Obr

Excited to spend the day with Tony Obr and Brett Reed, recording music for the new "Slender Loris" release. This group creates improvised work that blends the timbres of woodwinds, vibraphone, and modular synthesizers.

22/Jan/2016Headed to SF and ACT - The Strand

"The Unfortunates" is almost in its final SF-ACT form!!

I'll be traveling to SF for some clean up work with the horns and music this coming weekend. Looking forward to hanging with the amazing creative team and working with my good buddy Casey Hurt!

This is the culmination of an immense amount of work from the creative and my involvement over the past 3 years has been an absolute blast!

18/Jan/2016The Mystery Lesson part 238 18th January 2016

The Mystery Lesson part 238 18th January 2016

1. Livio Minafra & Louis Moholo-Moholo / Canto General / Incipit

2. Nate Wooley Quintet / Hesitation / Clean Feed

3. Alex Ward/Rachel Musson/Steve Noble / Projected / Copepod

4. Warrior Squares / Old Roar / www.warriorsquares.co.uk

5. Powertrio / Divertimento / Clean Feed

6. Ulrich Gumpert Quartett / A New One / Intakt

7. Keith Kelly Ask Not / A Stinging, That / Edgetone

8. Nate Wooley Quintet / On Insane Asylum / Clean Feed

9. Free Jazz Group Wiesbaden / Frictions Now Part I / NoBusiness

17/Jan/2016Some radio play...

Nice to "A Grand Apparatus, Discarded" getting some air play on KALX

Thank you!!

10/Jan/2016Music Director - Sonoran Serenade Big Band

It is my honor and pleasure to announce that I have been named Music Director of the Sonoran Serenade Big Band, an amazing dance band here in Phoenix!

I am taking over the reins from one of my mentors, Mike Crotty.

I look forward to working with this fantastic group! What a 2016 already!!

29/Dec/2015Sweetbleeders #1

Happy to have played on the record Mitchell Hillman chose as the #1 record by a PHX band this year! Hooray!!

28/Dec/2015CooBee Coo #11

Happy to have played on the CooBee Coo record selected as #11 best record by a Phoenix band this year! Woot woot!

17/Dec/2015New Music from "Sweetbleeders"

"The Sweetbleeders 2015 lineup is a pretty impressive one, featuring members both old and new, with Robin Vining at the helm (vocals, guitar, piano and other stuff), Steven Dueck (drums), David Marquez (bass), Keith Kelly (flute, sax, clarinet), Megyn Neff (violin), and Jon Rauhouse (pedal steel guitar) and featuring Brendan Dueck (melodica and keys), as well as the late Amy Ross providing additional vocals on the record. It’s something of a dream lineup, and this is definitely a dreamy album. It should also be mentioned, due to the record’s rich production value, that it was engineered by Mike Hissong with Catherine Vericolli and Dominic Armstrong at 513 Studios."


17/Nov/2015Recording with Nathan Hubbard this week!

My friend and music companion Nathan Hubbard (http://www.castorandpolluxmusic.com/) is coming to Phoenix this week to do a concert with the PVCC Tuesday Night Big Band. While he is here we will be recording a new duo record - looking forward to a great session and a release sometime in early 2016.

10/Oct/2015Great Recording with the Wilkinsemble!

Just finished a great weekend of music with Mike Wilkinson (trombone)!
Working on his new record: Wilkinsemble - The Desert Sesssions!

Some excellent music, great people (Clark Rigsby at Tempest Studios, Mike Kocour, Jeff Libman, Dom Moio) -- and a fantastic finished product!

Looking forward to the release in 2016!

29/Sep/2015New "The Scorpion Decides" record!

Here is the link to the latest record by The Scorpion Decides. This is a live recording done in Phoenix, featuring:

Nathan Hubbard, drums & compositions
Jerome Salazar, bass
Branson NeJame, keys
Kim Swisher, vocals

and me!!

09/Jun/2015Summer Bloggin'

I'm working on a summer project with my friend Brett Reed. Check it out!

20/May/2015the end of letterman!

seems like a good time to repost!

01/May/2015Some nice words about "A Grand Apparatus, Discarded"

From Dave Sumner at Bird is the Worm:

"Saxophonist Kelly leads a quartet through a high voltage set of jazz-rock fusion. Nifty how an undercurrent of melodicism rises to the surface before again submerging below the crazed intensity. A sharp intelligence to this furious music."

28/Apr/2015Keith Kelly Ask Not --- Record out TODAY!

Ask Not is a collection of improvising musicians led by Keith Kelly. Ari Chersky, Doug, Stuart, and Shaun Lowecki bring their broad music tastes and experiences together to create an expression of the moment: born of an instant, stretched and curdled, swiped across, and broken apart. Brett Reed contributes on vibes, adding another layer to the sound palette. The range of sounds on this record include: blues, jazz, indie rock, minimalism, ambient, and noise.
Keith Kelly - soprano, tenor saxophones, bass clarinet, flute
Ari Chersky - guitar
Shaun Lowecki - drums and cymbals
Doug Stuart - bass
Brett Reed - vibes

03/Apr/2015A new Ask Not release this month!

I am happy to announce that Edgetone Records will be releasing, on April 28th: "A Grand Apparatus, Discarded"

This improvised record features:

Ari Chersky - guitar

Doug Stuart - bass

Shaun Lowecki - drums and cymbals


Brett Reed - vibes

This rocky-jazzy-ambient record was recorded (by Kyle Adams and Brett Reed) in November at Union 32 Studios in Phoenix. Brett Reed also mixed and mastered the record.

I am VERY EXCITED to share this music.

Look for more info later this month!!

15/Jan/2015The Unfortunates @ Joe's Pub NYC

So excited to play again with the wonderful musicians, singers, and artists in a concert production of The Unfortunates. We will be playing a show at Joe's Pub in NYC. It is going to be awesome! We played sets this past year at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Green Show and at Paradise Valley Community College. What great music (go casey hur!) and what great singing (go ramiz! go ian!) and what a cool show (go all you guys!) WOW!

19/Dec/2014Honorable Mention - Best of 2014

Check it out!!

06/Dec/2014New Keith Kelly ASK NOT record coming in April!

We just completed another recording session. We meaning Ari Chersky (guitar) - Doug Stuart (bass) - Shaun Lowecki (drums/cymbals) - Brett Reed (vibes). The record is going to be called:

A Grand Apparatus, Discarded

01/Nov/2014Top Plays on KFJC

Pretty cool! Tied for Number One (with a ton of others...)

21/Oct/2014A nice review from Vital Weekly (The Netherlands!)

"Keith Kelly is also a sax player who debuts with his quartet that often operates as Ask Not: Ari Chersky (guitar), Shaun Lowecki (drums and cymbals) and Doug Stuart (upright bass). Kelly is a woodwind specialist, teacher and researcher. The cd offers eight improvisations that gave a good impression of this combo. Although hectic at moments, a relaxed feeling dominates in these loosely developing journeys, moving between departing and arriving. Kelly has a philosophic mind as he writes in the liner notes: ‘We are always becoming, but that also means we are always leaving’. The moments that gave birth to these improvisations have been long gone now, but listening to these recordings they can establish a new momentum in your experience."

21/Oct/2014Oakley/Kelly Duo at Cibo's Hallowine Event

"Please join us for Hallowine ( our annual fundraiser ) on Sunday, October 26th from 4pm to 9pm. We will have live music, wine specials, a ballon artist and more! A portion of the sales for the evening will be donated to Hospice Of The Valley. Come dressed for a delicious and fun event for a great cause."

03/Oct/2014A nice review from Thurston Hunger!

Kelly, Keith – “People Who Left, The" – [Edgetone Records]

Quartet with very nice interplay between reeds (Keith
Kelly) and guitar (Ari Chersky). Check out the lead-off
track where Chersky builds a kind of interstellar series
of ricochet effect clouds. Or “KYNNET" that pits a hyper
cycling Kelly against slower angled notes from Chersky.
Drummer Shaun Lowecki adds to speed start on that, but
it all tapers down nicely. I feel like Chersky delivers
a sort of Twilight Zone soundtrack to many pieces. The
tension is at its high point on “Wince" as Doug Stuart
bows his bass some, Kelly starts with a flying flute woven
through an organic drum forest, eventually sax spurred
flurry whips up before a toy xylophone end. “Apologetica"
has Chersky doing that sort of watercolor guitarwork (his
online solo album is more like that). Sleep funk awakens
on “Push Push" probably the most fun for the rhythm core.
Is someone (Ari?) dropping a little Rhodes into the mix?
Former San Franciscan Kelly left here for Paradise (Valley
Community College) in Arizona. This recording, by Noah
Guttell in Phoenix) is top notch. Great drum sounds, the
right tinge of reverb, plenty of snap when needed.

-Thurston Hunger

05/Sep/2014Bitches Brew

Very excited to play with my Union 32 All-Star buddies tonight! What a great FREE show at the Nash as part of the First Friday happenings in downtown PHX. Check it out!

11/Aug/2014San Diego Music Awards - Jazz Record of the Year - Nominee

I am excited to share that a record by my friend, Nathan Hubbard, was nominated for the above award! I play a whole bunch of different stuff on this 5-disc, 25-hour monstrosity (in a good way!) "Encinitas and Everything After"--- Good luck to Nathan!!!

08/Jul/2014New Section on the website

I have posted some links to my doctoral dissertation and to an easy-to-use guide for those who would like more help teaching big bands.

08/Jul/2014Mike Pfister talking about CollabX - what a project!

"CollabX hosted its first event, An Evening of Jazz and Poetry, Saturday at the Pythian lodge in Tempe. More than 30 people gathered to watch the live, improvised collaboration between poets and a jazz band.

The event, split into two sets of about 45 minutes each, featured poets reading their material while the band jammed"

02/Jul/2014Avant Music News

"The People Who Left" gets honorable mention in AMN's Best of 2014 (so far) list.

01/Jul/2014The Unfortunates!

Excited and happy to be working on music for this musical with the esteemed Casey Hurt!

08/Jun/2014A review of the most recent The Scorpion Decides gig

"The music had a strong ECM vibe, albeit with much sharper forays into free aesthetics. Salazar opened "Apparations, Ghosts and an Old Man" with a languid, bluesy vamp, while NeJame’s stabbing harmonies set the stage for Kelly’s soaring, chirping soprano saxophone, which broke into fractal multiphonics, pulling everyone into a free squall."

01/Jun/2014An article about a few summers ago...

30/May/2014A nice piece about Nathan Hubbard (my scorpion brother)

This video features The Scorpion Decides.

16/May/2014The Nash, in the AZ Republic

Look what's going on this summer at the Nash!

14/May/2014WFMU Play "Wince" - from "The People Who Left"

Very cool!

03/May/2014AMN Picks of the Week: Keith Kelly

Very Cool!

04/Apr/2014Some love from Garrison Jones!

02/Apr/2014Pre-Order - "The People Who Left"

Here it is! If you would like to, you can pre-order the record here!

17/Mar/2014Record Release - April 22

Hello All!

I am excited to announce my first record will be released by Edgetone Records on April 22, 2014!!

THE PEOPLE WHO LEFT, features Ari Chersky (guitar), Doug Stuart (bass), and Shaun Lowecki (drums/cymbals). It was recorded by Noah Guttell at Blue Door Studios and mixed and mastered by Brett Reed at Union 32 Studios. Can't wait to share it with you!

Links and such are forthcoming...