Brian Kelly (composer)

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For other people named Brian Kelly, see Brian Kelly (disambiguation).
Brian Kelly
BrianKelly promo 2008.jpg
Background information
Born 1960
Flag of the United States.svg New York City, U.S.
Genres Contemporary Instrumental
Neoclassical (New Age)
Jazz Fusion
Smooth Jazz
Instruments Piano, Keyboards
Years active 1990 – present
Labels Skylight Music

Brian Kelly is an American composer, pianist, and recording artist producing contemporary instrumental and solo piano music.


Brian’s latest release, Butterfly Rapture (his first solo piano album), is a collection of twelve neoclassical pieces with jazz, gospel, and Celtic influences.[1][2][3][4] The album has been nominated 2015 “Contemporary and Modern” Album of the Year by[5]

Brian’s previous album, Afterplay, was awarded second place in the “Best Instrumental Jazz Album” category of the Just Plain Folks Music Awards and “#2 Contemporary Jazz Album” by Independent Music Awards. Afterplay ranked third on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Chart for three months in a row (November 2008 thru January 2009) and was chosen as a “Best of 2008” pick by Audiosyncracy. The album features Eric Crystal on sax, Viviana Guzman on flute, and David Rokeach on drums.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Brian’s debut album, Pools of Light, charted #1 on the New Age Reporter international radio charts for two months in a row (June and July 2005) and garnered him a “Best New Artist” nomination in the 2005 Lifestyle Music Awards. Pools of Light was named among the Top 40 Favorite CDs of the Decade (2000-2009) by Kathy Parsons of[12][13][14][15][16]

Brian was Keyboard magazine’s Annual Reader Tape Contest winner for the recording of his composition “Todd Pond,” which is included on the Flexi-disc Soundpage in the February 1990 issue.[17] His music has been featured in television (Travel Channel, BBC Worldwide, MTV), film (NBA Entertainment), in-flight programming (United, JetBlue, Continental, Southwest), and receives airplay from radio stations and satellite music networks around the world (Music Choice, Sirius XM radio, Pandora Radio).[18] His sheet music songbooks, published by Skylight Music, include: Pools of Light Solo Piano Songbook and Tomorrow's Daydream Solo Piano Songbook.


Born in New York City, Brian grew up in Palo Alto, California. He began his piano studies at age 8, creating pieces for his mother who played classical piano at home and violin for a community opera company. Brian has extensive experience as a stage actor and singer, having performed in numerous plays and musical theatre productions, including several leading roles at TheatreWorks (Silicon Valley) and the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. He studied music composition with Lewis Spratlan at Amherst College and Roland Wiggins at Hampshire College; improvisation with members of the world-fusion group Oregon (Ralph Towner and Paul McCandless) and pianist Art Lande at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado; and jazz piano with Andy LaVerne in New York City.

Brian is a graduate of Hampshire College, a voting member of the Recording Academy, and currently resides with his wife and their two tuxedo cats in the San Francisco Bay Area.




  • 2005 Expect a Miracle, Orange Music[19]
  • 2005 Oasis New Age Sampler V.5, features the song "Open Sky" on disc 1, track No. 12
  • 2008 Music In Motion: The Best of, features the song "Angels Breathing" on track No. 19
  • 2012 Healing Flutes, features the song "Heaven on Earth" on track No. 8.

Sheet Music[edit]


  • Keyboard Magazine 5th Annual Reader's Soundpage Award
    • 1990, recording of winning composition, "Todd Pond", included on Flexi Disc in February 1990 issue.
  • NAR Lifestyle Music Awards
    • 2005 nominee, Best New Artist
  • Just Plain Folks Music Awards
    • 2009 second place, Best Instrumental Jazz Album: Afterplay[20]
    • 2009 nominee, Best Instrumental Jazz Song: "Celtic Fire" from Afterplay[21]
  • Album of the Year Award
    • 2015 nominee, Best "Contemporary and Modern" Album


  1. ^ "Butterfly Rapture CD review at". Retrieved 17 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Butterfly Rapture album review at". Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Butterfly Rapture album review at Improvijazzation Nation". Retrieved 5 December 2015. 
  4. ^ Diamond, Michael (9 January 2016). "Brian Kelly and Butterfly Rapture feature article on Music and Media Focus". Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  5. ^ "2015 Album of the Year Nominees Announced!". Retrieved 5 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Afterplay CD review at". Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Afterplay album review at Improvijazzation Nation". Retrieved December 5, 2015. 
  8. ^ "NAR Radio Chart November 2008". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  9. ^ "NAR Radio Chart December 2008". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "NAR Radio Chart January 2009". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Just Plain Folks Music Award Nominees 2009". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ "NAR Radio Chart June 2005". March 2, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  13. ^ "NAR Radio Chart July 2005". March 2, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  14. ^ 2005 NAR Lifestyle Music Award Nominees – web page archived at the Internet Archive
  15. ^ "Pools Of Light CD review at". August 31, 2004. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Kathy Parsons’ Top 40 Favorite CDs for the Decade (2000-2009)". April 8, 2012. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  17. ^ "The Year's Best Home Tapes", Jim Aikin, Keyboard Magazine, 1990
  18. ^ "XM Satellite Radio playlist". ( Retrieved September 15, 2009. 
  19. ^ "Orange Music catalog". Retrieved 2006-12-12. 
  20. ^ "Just Plain Folks Music Awards 2009, Album Winners". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Just Plain Folks Music Awards 2009, Song Nominees". Retrieved January 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]