Pat Kelly has had a significant presence on the Cincinnati music scene for many years. He began playing piano at age 14 and has progressed both as a self-taught musician and degreed music professional. He is an eclectically-minded composer/arranger/pianist who has practiced his art in and beyond Greater Cincinnati for more than 35 years.
He began writing music in his early-teens as a member of the rock band, The Purple Fringe, which later became Cabin 2 . He took his first formal piano lessons at age 18. His earliest musical experiences included learning jazz by frequenting nightclubs where great local jazz musicians performed. He gradually began playing gigs with these experienced musicians as his talents progressed.
Pat was the original house pianist at Cincinnati’s Blue Wisp Jazz Club when it opened in 1978 and was a member of the Jimmy McGary Quartet. This period also marked the beginnings of his composition of new musical pieces and arranging them for larger ensembles. He later matriculated at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition. He was awarded the Bertha Langhorst Werner Scholarship.
After returning to Cincinnati from a 4 year sojourn to Northern Florida in 1987, Pat’s newly-formed 13-piece PsychoAcoustic Orchestra made a mark on the Cincinnati music scene. Throughout the ‘90s and into the new millennium, the PAO gave jazz aficionados a fresh look at big band music, successfully blending jazz, rock, funk, Latin, European art music and avant garde. The PsychoAcoustic Orchestra features many of the area’s best players, actively performing locally and regionally and releasing two memorable CDs - SUPREME THING (1994) and REACTIVATION (1996). The PAO was named "Best Big Band" in Cincinnati Magazine's "Best Of" issue in 1995 and was named "Best Jazz Group" at the 1997 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards.
Kelly's works primarily as a freelance musician and has contributed to numerous musical projects and productions. He served as house producer for Cincinnati’s J Curve Records, producing all 3 volumes of J Curve Cincinnati Jazz Collection (1998-2000), ¿Donde Estas? by Latin X-posure, both Triple Stop (2001) and Classic Scotty (2003) by internationally acclaimed country/jazz guitarist Scotty Anderson and Killer Love (2004) by R&B vocalist P. Ann Everson-Price. He also produced two special projects: Skyline Golden Sampler (1999) for Skyline Chili’s 50th Anniversary and Hidden Treasures-King Records Tribute (2002) for the Inclusion Network. Both CDs were compilations featuring dozens of bands including Blessid Union of Souls, Peter Frampton, Latin X-posure, Eugene Goss, The Goshorn Brothers, the Mistics and more. He also composed the musical score for the feature film Artworks which was released in 2004 and is a former Music Director of New Thought Unity Center in Cincinnati.
Pat Kelly’s musical influences include Mingus, Frank Zappa, James Brown, Sun Ra and John Coltrane, among countless others. He has performed with such well known musicians as Jimmy McGary, Cal Collins, John Wright, Teri Thornton, Louis Hayes, Buddy DeFranco, Toots Thielmans, Pete Petersen, Howard Johnson, Chuck Wayne, Ira Sullivan, Red Rodney, Barney Kessel, Rusty Bryant, The Cohesion Jazz Ensemble, The Blue Wisp Big Band and The Dee Felice Big Band. In the early ‘80s, he formed the hard bop quartet “The Groove Organizers” with Tim Hagans and Sandy Suskind.