Gary Kelly was born in New York City. After attending Pennsylvania State University,
he later transferred to Berklee College of Music and graduated with a BM in Performance/Composition, receiving the Faculty Association and Peter Koleta Awards
for outstanding performance. While living in Boston, he performed with Mike Stern, Kevin Eubanks, George Garzone, and others.
  Gary at Carls
  Gary has been playing Carl Thompson
custom six-string basses since 1985.
Two of his basses are on display in the
six- string bass photo section of
Carl Thompson's site.
  Rock Bass Book Cover

Gary's Contemporary Rock and Blues
Styles for the Bass
. Published by
Carl Fischer Publications
and now
available on their website. Also through
the Theodore Presser Company, (enter
"Gary Kelly" in the search field box).


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Carls Logo

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hartke logo

Gary moved back to New York City in the autumn of 1979, to perform, record and teach. He became an instructor at the American Institute of Guitar in NYC, and immediately established Dean Street, a project featuring Bill Frisell, Brian Gephardt, Michael Lauren and others to record and perform original compositions. He has also performed and recorded with various groups including:

The Ed Palermo Big Band
  The Leroy Jenkins group  
  The Tom Pierson Orchestra, including recording two CD’s, and a featured performance on the Smithsonian Institute’s Big Band Compilation.  
  Latin Jazz group, Bobby Sanabria y Ascención  
  Latin vocalists: José José and Guadalupe  
  Performances with Johnny Reinhard and Jon Catler at the American Festival of Microtonal Music.  
  Performances with the Indian Kathak / jazz tap dance group, Ka-Tap Ensemble featuring jazz musicians Frank Kimbrough, Ben Allison, and Tim Horner, along with Indian musicians Ramesh Misra and Samir Chatterjee.  
  Persian artists: Hayedeh, Dariush Eghbali, Hassan Sattar and Shohreh Soiati  
  Blues artists: Rhett Tyler and Popa Chubby  
  R&B and rock & roll artists: Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Teenagers, The Drifters, The Crystals and Freddie Cannon  
  The Mama’s and Papa’, including national television shows Good Morning America and Entertainment Tonight.  
  Performances and clinics with Tony Purrone (longtime guitarist with the Heath Bros.)  
  Performances and clinics for Ludwig drums with Danny Gottleib and saxophonist Bill Evans  
  Performances and clinics with Larry Mitchell Group for Hartke, D’Addario and Ibanez  
  Performances and clinics with Russ Miller for Yamaha  

His teaching career includes:

  Instructor at the College of St. Rose in Albany, NY, where he is on the faculty of the Music Industry Dept., teaching recording ensembles; jazz chamber ensembles, music business; music technology; recording production; studio intensives; and private lessons on electric bass. He is also teaching music improvisation at Siena College, in nearby Latham, NY., and conducting workshops and clinics throughout New York's Capitol Region. From Sept. 2009 to present.  
  Instructor at L'Universita della Musica in Rome, Italy, from Sept., 2006 to Jan., 2008. He taught ensembles in Jazz, Rock, Pop, and Recording Studio, as well as Bass:Advanced Repertoire and bass lessons. and classes in ear training.  

Instructor at The Collective in NYC, from 1998 to 2006. He taught courses that he designed and developed: Studio Bass 1 and 2, Studio Drumming 1 and 2, Digital Audio for Musicians, Studio Rhythm Section, Bass Technique, Latin Bass, Blues Bass, Modern Jazz Bass. He created a course for Rock Bass with a book recently published by Carl Fischer Publications. Studio manager engineering all projects as well as overseeing the change to a digital computer format including the choice and purchase of equipment and software.

  Instructor for harmony, theory and ensembles at the Miami Institute of Percussion. 1992-1995  
  Part-time instructor at The Drummers Collective in NYC, for theory; bassist for a master class series with drummer Lenny White.
  Instructor at the American Institute of Guitar in NYC, 1983-1985  

He produced, engineered, played bass and co-wrote material and arrangements for Pat Tortorici’s CD NY Story, and produced and engineered world music group Nostos’ CD Journey to Ithaca.
Gary has also performed with: Vinnie Amico, Joey Calderazzo, Ray Mantilla, Frank Foster, Ricky Sebastian, Armen Donelian, Tom Malone, Lou Soloff, Lou Marini, Randy Brecker, Mac Gollehan, Cornelius Bumpus, Yaron Dael Israel, Pheeroan Aklaff, Michael Lauren, Ray Marchica, Camille Gainer, Barry Rogers, Carlos "Patato" Valdez, Arto Tunkbayagi, Tommy Campbell, Paul Wertico, Cindy Blackman, Miriam Eli, Joe Zeytoonian, AJ  Pero, and Karl Cochran.

Gary has endorsements with D'Addario Strings & Planet Waves Cables, Carl Thompson Basses, and Hartke Amplifiers