Saxophonist and educator Keith Kelly, a San Francisco Bay Area native, holds a BM in Performance (Saxophone) and a BM in Music Education from the Conservatory of Music at University of the Pacific, an MM in Music Education (Jazz Studies) and DMA in Music Education (Jazz Studies) from Arizona State University. Currently, he is the Coordinator of Music Humanities and Performance at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, AZ.
As a woodwind specialist, he has toured with the Eels, Darlene Love, The Scorpion Decides, and his own free-jazz group, Ask Not. He has recorded with the Eels, Ask Not, Running From Bears, The Scorpion Decides, Static Announcements, Casey Hurt, Califone, Sweetbleeders, and CooBeeCoo. Kelly has performed with Crossing 32nd St, Under the Streetlamp, CONDER dance company, The Phoenix Symphony, Natalie Cole, Maynard Ferguson, The Temptations, Glen Campbell, Diana Schuur, Bob Newhart, and numerous TV/radio/music personalities. Kelly has performed in or supervised over 35 different musical theater productions throughout Northern California and the greater Southwest, including "The Unfortunates" - which debuted at ACT's, The Strand Theater in San Francisco in 2016, with his original horn arrangements.
Dr. Kelly is the Education Director for The Nash, the premier jazz education and performance organization in Phoenix - where he coordinates all aspects of education programming. He directs the Union Jazz Institute at Paradise Valley Community College, a college-prep program focusing on jazz combo playing and improvisation. He has previously directed the Young Sounds of San Joaquin and the Tri-Valley Jazz Workshop.
As a researcher, his focus is on creativity/improvisation in the public school jazz ensemble, teacher preparation, access, gender and music participation, and the early history of public school jazz education. He continues to act as a PhD dissertation supervisor for Boston University.
As a collegiate music educator, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at San Joaquin Delta College, University of the Pacific, Boston University (Online), Arizona State University, and was Assistant Professor/Coordinator of Jazz Studies at California State University, Stanislaus.
Here is what Keith Kelly says about the Eastman 52nd Street Tenor Saxophone.
I’ve played a vintage horn, ever since I picked up the tenor saxophone. I had found that modern horns lacked the power, the range of tone color, and the overall ‘umph’ that I loved so much about playing vintage horns. The Eastman 52nd St Tenor Saxophone was a revelation to me – a modern horn, with all the precision key-work and attention to detail, coupled with the overall sound and feel of a vintage saxophone. When I first played my Eastman with the musicians who know me and my music best, they raved about how I “sounded more like myself” and how much “clearer and focused” my sound became. I feel so lucky to be able to play this horn every day and to share this hybrid of “vintage and modern” with my students and other professionals.
What They Play
The 52nd Street saxophone is a professional instrument and comes unlacquered for a truly vintage appearance. It is an exceptionally responsive horn in all registers and produces a big, fat sound with precise intonation. A larger bell and rolled-style tone holes contribute to the sound qualities of this instrument that many compare to some of the great vintage horns of the past.
- 52nd St. Bb Tenor Saxophone
- High F# key, aged unlacquered brass finish
- Large bell, rolled-style tone holes, special 52nd St. engraving
- "M" neck
- Deluxe case w/storage pockets and backpack straps