Composer/pianist Daniel Kelly transforms the stories of everyday people into dramatic and compelling music that blends jazz, classical and folk music into a signature sound.

Through a series of eleven commissioned works, Kelly traveled throughout the United States collecting stories from farmers, immigrants, hurricane survivors, teachers, students, seniors and many others of all backgrounds from ages 4 to 94.

Audiences around the country have been deeply moved by his innovative joining of journalism and music that seamlessly blends recorded interviews with stunning, original compositions performed by Kelly’s band of world-class musicians.

Daniel has performed with many important artists who are world-famous in the fields of jazz (Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Don Byron), classical (The Bang on a Can All-Stars) and pop (Lauryn Hill), to name a few -  but the experience of meeting with everyday people and creating music inspired by their individual lives has brought him the most personal sense of meaning.

“The goal of my project Listening to America is to honor the stories of each unique individual, while at the same time celebrating our similarities through music. I see my mission in this project as fostering compassion between us as citizens. That by hearing someone’s life story and point of view, we may all be more understanding with one another.”


Everyday Heroes: Listening to America

An innovative joining of journalism and music that brings the lives and stories of contemporary Americans into the concert hall. Through a series of eleven commissioned works, award-winning composer/pianist Daniel Kelly has traveled throughout the United States collecting stories from people of all ages & backgrounds. Everyday Heroes: Listening to America seamlessly blends these recorded interviews with farmers, immigrants, hurricane survivors and many others with stunning, original music performed by Kelly’s band of world-class musicians. Audiences around the country have been deeply moved by this relevant and powerful portrait of America in the 21st century.

“A triumph! The effects of Daniel Kelly’s concert are still being felt throughout the community.”

—  Pam Weisberg, Director of Programming, Doctorow Center for the Arts (Hunter, New York)

“A superb example of how the arts can be used to bring communities together in creative ways.”

—  Jon Alger, President, James Madison University, (Harrisonburg, Virginia)


Generation NOW: Listening to Young America

 Audiences will hear stories told by students Kelly met on his travels - students in grade school, high school and college, living in places like Memphis, Wyoming, Iowa, Virginia & New York City, including young immigrants from countries all around the world who call America their home.

Their stories range from humorous to tragic and powerfully describe their dreams and struggles: growing up on a ranch, neighborhood life in the city, personal experiences with immigration, the death of a parent and more. Audiences will hear original music composed in direct response to these recorded interviews performed by Kelly’s band of world-class musicians.

Ideal for audiences in grades 6-12

“Daniel really connected with the students….They will never forget this affirming experience.”

—  Steven Marc Weiss, Director, Marquis Series, Coe College (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

“The stories this next generation of young adults has shared with me made me thankful and honored to have met these noble young citizens.”

—  Daniel Kelly

All the World’s a Song: Jazz vocalists sing Shakespeare

Award-winning composer and pianist, Daniel Kelly brilliantly reinterprets texts from Shakespeare’s most beloved plays with powerhouse jazz vocalists (Frederick Johnson and Sarah Elizabeth Charles).

Excerpts from Shakespeare’s masterpieces are transformed into songs that delight audiences.

For young audiences and those new to the works of the Bard, All the World’s a Song offers an engaging introduction to the master’s work while offering exciting new interpretations for Shakespeare aficionados.

Engaging, enlivening and thought-provoking for audiences of all ages.  People will be singing lines from Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and Midsummer Night’s Dream as they leave the concert!

School performances & workshops available.

Blind Visionaries: The Seeing with Photography Collective

Exhibited in galleries around the world, the haunting and poetic images of the Seeing with Photography Collective are created in a dynamic process called “light painting” transporting the viewer into their unique dream world of surreal portraits.

Their stunning and captivating images will be projected on a video screen throughout the performance. Audiences will hear recorded interviews from these blind & visually impaired photographers reflecting upon their personal experiences with blindness and Daniel Kelly’s riveting original music composed in response to these compelling stories.

Same-day workshops are available. Participants will create photos with members of the Collective. These images will be projected on screen during the concert!


A Sounding of Community Voices EPK