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Robert Kelly

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Robert C. Kelly, a New York native, has an extensive and diverse career as a Drummer/Percussionist. His musical scope spans the genres of Jazz, World Beat, Orchestral, Brazilian Jazz, Gospel, Modern Dance, R & B, Pop & Rock.

Mr. Kelly has received his formal training with Ronald Gould, Principal Percussionist of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He received his Bachelor of Music from The Hartt School of Music while studying with Alexander Lepak, and holds a Master of Arts from New York University while studying with Jonathan Haas. Mr. Kelly has also served as Percussion faculty at New York University.

He has collaborated and performed with a diverse and stellar list of ensembles and musicians as in Chamber~Broadway~Orchestral: The Royal Swedish Ballet, The Philadelphia Virtuosi, Gil Shaham, Navah Perlman, David Jolley, Eduardus Halim. Conductors Gunther Shuller, Ilan Volkov, Bartalomeo Ferrara, Tania Leon, Richard Fletcher, Joseph Church, Chung Myung Whun, Li Xin cao and James Sedares. 
Prominent choreographers and directors, such as Ann Reinking (of Fosse and Chicago), Michael Grife (of Rent), Baba Chuck Davis, Stanley Berke, actors Blythe Danner, Bill Irwin, Stephen Collins, and Jack Gilpin. Invited/guest percussionist to perform the 2010 full production of 'Turandot' with The China NCPA Orchestra and the Korea National Opera at the Seoul Opera House.

Jazz and Pop: with Teo Macero, Bruce Arnold, Jerry Dodgeon, Lenny Pickett, Barry Lynn Stimpy, Jim Pugh, Hans Glauschwanig, Mike Campbell, Atomic Brother, Javier Diez, Calvin Jones, Jerome Harris, Ron McClure, Dave Stryker, Dave Spinnoza, Harry Miller, Daniel Sadownick, Enrique Haneine, Becky Shrimpton, Ejyp, Vortex, Julie Simon, John Ashton, Mike Richmond, Ralph LaLama, Carol Woods, Mark Patterson, Mike Ricciutti, Marilyn McCoo, and Billy Davis Jr., Combo Nuvo.

Additional & miscellaneous playing sessions: with Kenny Werner, James Genus, Wayne Krantz, Richard Bona, Leni Stern, Gil Goldstein, Lew Soloff, Martin Wind, Dave Pietro, John Scofield, Tim Lefebvre, Wallace Roney and many others.

Worldbeat and ethnic ensembles: such as the highly acclaimed Korean percussion ensemble 'Gongmyoung', the ‘All Ways Surprising’ ensemble – performing music of Chile - as Mr. Kelly is Asst. Musical Director and percussionist. Doce no Pires, Caciques, Pyramid dance ensemble, Robert Levin's 'the Rhythm Monsters' performing music from Ghana. And also, 'K' ensemble which uniquely and elegantly combines folkloric Japanese music with Jazz idioms - Mr. Kelly is co-founder with Jun Kubo.

Mr. Kelly was an invited and featured Artist for the Opening Ceremony of the III Delphic World Games of 2009 held in Jeju Island.

Toured the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan and Korea. His Broadway and Off Broadway credits include: 'Les Miserables', 'Ain’t Misbehavin', 'Infertility...the Musical That's Hard to Conceive', Duke Ellington 'Song Book', 'Fame', and 'A Good Swift Kick', and many others.

Selected as an International judge and Soloist to perform Billy Childs' percussion concerto with the Seoul National Wind Symphony - for the Jeju International Winds and Brass Festival He has World Premiered the Vibraphone Concerto by Ha Young mi – ‘Follow Those Stars’.  Chamber works: ‘Re-Collections’ written by Harold Farberman, commissioned for the Centennial celebration of the Jewish Heritage and Culture Society of New York. And 'The Charm' as timpani soloist and Associate Producer, written by Michael Udow.

From 2008 - 2013, Mr. Kelly has lived and worked in South Korea, with an Assistant Professor position at the prestigious Keimyung University in the Metropolitan City of Daegu, as Head of Percussion and Drumming Studies, and Director of Ensembles for the Music Production Department. And as Professor of Percussion & Chamber Ensembles within the Orchestral Studies Department - at Sangmyung University in central Seoul.

In addition to his loyalty and diligence as an educator and mentor, he maintained a busy freelance and artistic schedule - freelancing with various Brazilian Jazz ensembles, Jazz trios and quartets. The ‘All Ways Surprising Ensemble’, 'ChiKo'. As well, the likes of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Cheonan City Symphony Orchestra, Arco Diabolo Chamber Orchestra (to which he has recently been appointed as Principal timpani/percussion), Tajeon Broadcast Symphony, Jordi Savall & le Concert des Nations, and The International Contemporary Music Festival.

Mr. Kelly's work as Drummer~Percussionist - found on the following Jingles/T.V. & Radio Programs: (In the USA): WBAI radio, The Odyssey Channel, The Hallmark Channel. Lever, HBO, The Sci-fi Network, Gillete and Marano Jewelers. (Korean broadcast networks): KBS Radio, TJB TV, SBS TV, KBS TV and Gangnam Cable - Jazz Park live concert series.  Concerts performed in notable venues as diverse as: Seoul Arts Center, Tokyo City Opera Hall, Kyunghee Palace (in Asia). The Ronacher, The Bellini Theatre, The Folies Bergere (in Europe), Carnegie Hall - Main stage and recital hall, and the Blue Note (in the United States).

Endorsed artist with Pearl Drums ~ Adams Concert Percussion, SABIAN Cymbals and Aquarian Drumheads.

Rob C Kelly is now settled back in the United States, living and working in the Greater Nashville area.