Award-winning composer and pianist Daniel Kelly is one of the most innovative and accomplished musicians of his generation. He has performed all over the world with artists such as Grammy-award winning jazz legends Michael Brecker and Joe Lovano, hip-hop star Lauryn Hill, and modern classical giants The Bang on a Can All-Stars. He served as a US Jazz Ambassador performing concerts throughout Southeast Asia and India for various heads of state. A recipient of the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Adventurous Programming Award, Daniel is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of Connection Works, an artist-run non-profit organization based in Brooklyn that has produced six seasons of groundbreaking concerts since 2007.


Daniel was awarded a grant by the New York Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to compose a concert-length work titled Rakonto: A Sounding of Community Voices that incorporated recordings of the voices and stories of immigrants living in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Flushing, Queens. He has been commissioned by five communities throughout New York State to create new concert-length works in his Rakonto series for 2013-14 concert season. Daniel has composed for chamber orchestra, string quartet, film and multi-media theater works that have toured internationally. He has released five CDs of original compositions.

In the Press

“…powerfully moving.” – Steve Smith, Time Out New York

"When pianist Daniel Kelly breaks loose with an exhilarating performance set up by the entire group, attention must be paid . . . [a] performance made possible by Kelly's finely attuned senses of touch and texture."

– Don Williamson, JazzReview.com 

Touring Projects

Rakonto (the word for story in Esperanto) is Daniel Kelly’s newest project to be featured throughout the State of NY as part of a NY Presenters grant.  Daniel Kelly interviews the people of your community based on a theme (e.g. the themes in NY include Hurricane Sandy and immigration). During this residency community members: students, seniors, business owners, children in after-school programs, musicians, church congregations and social service organizations will share their experiences, ideas, thoughts with Daniel and their voices will resonate in an original musical work produced by the composer/pianist. This project can be done with Daniel Kelly solo, with his 4-et, and/or oftentimes involving local musicians who may also contribute a genuine local sound to contribute to the work. When attending the performance, many of these people will hear their voices presented in a fresh new context: a musical work of art that illuminates the hopes, dreams and points of view of different members of a community. It is possible to engage the project already produced in NY or have an original produced in your town. 

Video Samples


Shared Dynasty. Live at Flushing Town Hall

A Sounding of Community Voices EPK