Elden Kelly is a seasoned jazz improviser, band leader, and a highly skilled solo guitar fingerstylist, composer and songwriter. He is the perfect artist for your Jazz or World music stage, or to add a remarkable flare to any lineup. Possessing guitar techniques that are the envy of many top players, Elden has captivated his audiences with his virtuosic songwriting and a voice that has been compared to the likes of Jeff Buckley.
With a strong grounding both in traditional genres and fusions, Kelly mixes classical, world music and jazz. His nylon string guitar and exotic-sounding 11-string fretless guitar evoke traces of Latin, American roots, flamenco, and Indian music underpinned by modern swing, African polyrhythms and cross-cultural grooves. Elden aptly cuts his own path through the music world and brings to audiences across the country, music that is recognizably, uniquely outstanding. He develops and feeds a fan base of loyal followers who crave the exceptional.
Although Michigan claims him as their own, Elden is originally from Vermont. He carries a degree in Contemporary Improvisation from Boston’s prestigious New England Conservatory of Music. He served as teaching assistant at the Conservatory for theory and keyboard harmony classes and also while living in Boston was a member of the staff faculty at the Allegro Music School. He directed a weeklong “Guitar Intensive” educational program in Richmond, Vermont, which was sponsored by the Huntington Valley Arts Organization. In 2008 he was honored with a full scholarship, coupled with a teaching assistant position at Michigan State University with Rodney Whitaker, earning a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology in 2011. Elden continues to be an active educator and currently teaches guitar and leads “Sold Out” workshops at the renowned Elderly Instruments in Lansing, Michigan.
Impossible to pigeonhole, Elden creates music beyond genre borders and stretches the imagination and expectations of audiences. He possesses the multi-faceted talents of stellar musicianship, engaging performance and outstanding teaching abilities. A once in a lifetime lightning strike of talent makes him an amazing artist and much in demand for concert series and festivals, teaching camps and workshops and venues who look to bring in the extraordinary.