Neil Kelly is a Jazz Guitarist / Composer / Arranger / and Band Leader who has been working in the greater San Francisco Bay area for the past 20 years. He holds a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from San Jose State University where he majored in Jazz composition and arranging. Neil’s original compositions “Threshold,” and “All the Things We Were,” orchestrated for Big band, were winning compositions for the San Jose Jazz Society’s Local Composer’s Showcase of 2009 and 2010
Neil has released two modern Jazz CD’s as a Band Leader. “Rivers Converge” (2010) where he is joined by Jemal Ramirez, Jonathan Bautista and Lukas Vesely, and “In Roads” (2015) a collaborative project co’led by Saxophonist / Composer Robby Elfman.
Neil is one of the founding members of the Playa Jazz Cafe, a collective of jazz musicians from LA and the bay area who bring a Jazz theme camp to Burning man each year since 2003. The Playa Jazz Café hosts nightly jam sessions, daily educational workshops, and formal concerts throughout the week where players from all over the world converge to create art and music.
He has performed with ensembles at the Monterey Jazz Festival and San Jose Jazz Summer Fest. He has shared the stage with Bobby Shew, Chris Amberger, Hristo Vitchev, Dan Robbins and countless others.