Biographical Information Jim is an alto saxophonist who doubles on tenor and soprano saxophones and flute. He began playing saxophone at age nine. He studied and played in the public school music programs in Massachusetts, where he grew up. Upon graduation from high school, Jim attended Berklee College of Music, from 1972-1976. In 1976 to 1977, he joined and toured the USA and Canada with a soul band called 'Wayne Cochran & the C.C. Riders.' Also, in 1976, he played saxophone and flute on his first recording session, with Michael Mantler and Carla Bley. In 1978, Jim recorded in New York City with the Dutch guitarist, Jan Akkerman. This was with a great horn section, including Michael Brecker on tenor saxophone. In 1980, Jim joined the Gary Burton Quartet. From 1980 to 1983, he toured Russia, Eastern and Western Europe, the Caribbean, and South America with Gary's group. During this time, they recorded two LP's ('Easy As Pie' and 'Picture This') on the ECM record label. On the second one, Jim wrote and published two jazz compositions, 'Tierra Del Fuego' and 'Skylight.' In 1982, Jim began to teach at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Massachusetts. He began as an Instructor of Ensembles (contemporary and jazz/rock styles). Throughout his fifteen-year career at Berklee, Jim has also taught in the Performance Studies and Woodwind Departments. His current title at Berklee is Associate Professor, Woodwind Department. Jim has received two teaching awards from Berklee. In 1989, he received the 'Dean of Faculty Award' for his work in improvisation. In 1995, as part of Berklee's fiftieth year celebration, Jim received a medallion in appreciation for his contributions to teaching. In 1983, Jim toured England and Wales with the Mike Gibbs' Band. This band included Kevin Eubanks on guitar, Bob Moses on drums, and Steve Swallow on bass. In 1986, Jim went to London, England to play alto and soprano saxophone as a featured soloist on the music soundtrack of the Paramount motion picture, 'Heat', starring the American actor, Burt Reynolds. In 1988, Jim played on composer, Michael Gibbs CD, called 'Big Music'. He was the featured soloist on the song, 'Wall to Wall'. This CD recording featured famous instrumentalists; John Scofield, Kevin Eubanks and Bill Frisell on guitar, Bob Moses on drums, Lew Soloff on trumpet, and Bob Mintzer on tenor saxophone, flute and bass clarinet. Also in 1988, Jim played alto and soprano saxophone section and solos on Chicago-based composer, Kimo William's' CD (41/2 *'s in Down Beat Magazine), 'War Stories'. Some other players on this CD are; Vinnie Colaiuta and Kenwood Dennard on drums, Mike Stern on guitar, and Victor Bailey on bass. In 1990, Jim was invited to Rotterdam, Holland, to compose for and tour with the 'Rijnmond Saxophone Quartet'. During that visit, Jim also conducted a performance of his ten minute piece for the 'Great Saxophone Orchestra'. This piece was played in the lobby of the Rotterdam Conservatory by more than 300 saxophonists. The tour with the Rijnmond Quartet also featured French classical saxophonist, Jean-Marie Londeix. At that time, Jim also presented master classes in saxophone performance and improvisation at the Rotterdam Conservatory and in other cities in Holland. During the next few years, Jim visited Holland a few more times, and ultimately recorded a CD with the Rijnmond Saxophone Quartet, called 'The Meetin''. He also played more concert tours with the Rijnmond Quartet and French classical saxophonist, Claude Delangle. On 'The Meetin'' CD, Jim wrote six of the arrangements, including four based on his original compositions in the jazz and R&B styles. In 1992, Jim performed some of these pieces at Teatro Rossini in Pesaro, Italy during the World Saxophone Congress, with the Rijnmond Saxophone Quartet. In 1992, Jim recorded on the music soundtrack of the motion picture, 'Hardboiled', which is a film by John Woo. This film score was composed by Michael Gibbs. During 1993 and 1994, Jim published the written scores and parts for his saxophone quintet arrangements of; 'One to Many' and 'Night in Olneyville' (based on songs composed by Jim Kelly), and Jim's song, 'H is for Hottentotte', with the German publishing company, Advance Music. In 1994, two CD's were released on the RAM record label (Italy), which extensively feature Jim as a soloist. The CD's are called 'This Is Why' and 'The Music of Jim Kelly'. 'The Music of Jim Kelly' by the group, 'the Sled Dogs', a quartet with guitar, bass, drums and alto saxophone, is augmented on some songs by synthesizer, guitar and acoustic piano (Malcolm Walsh), and vibraphone (Gary Burton). Their songs are composed exclusively by guitarist, Jim Kelly, and can described as ranging from jazz to blues to rock influenced. The Sled dogs have performed in the USA, Canada, Japan and Europe. On the CD, 'This Is Why', by Victor Mendoza, the group is a sextet which is augmented on one song by two trumpets (Juan Cruz de Urquiza and Richard Nant). Mendoza's music can be described as Latin Jazz in the Afro/Cuban styles. The compositions are by Mendoza (vibraphonist) and Allain Mallet (pianist). The sextet includes famous Latin instrumentalists, Oscar Stagnaro on bass and Horacio 'El Negro' Hernandez on drums. This group has performed in the USA and in Mexico. During 1994 and 1995, Jim toured several countries in Central America with both Jim Kelly and Victor Mendoza, sometimes under the auspices of the United States Embassy. They have received tremendous critical reviews of their concert performances, and also an award from the United States Ambassador to Honduras. In 1996, Jim was recorded on the music soundtrack of the motion picture, 'Hugo Pool'. The film score was written by Danilo Perez, famous Jazz and Latin/Jazz pianist. In 1997, Jim presented a week-long workshop on jazz improvisation in Morelia, Mexico, at the 'Conservatory of the Roses', the oldest conservatory in the Americas. This event was concluded with a jazz concert performance by Jim and Mexican musicians. Upon occasion, from 1987 through 1997, Jim has presented clinics and master classes in many places under the auspices of Berklee College of Music. The curriculum for these classes has included; saxophone studies, jazz theory, jazz improvisation and jazz arranging. The locations of these has been; California, New Mexico, Japan, Italy, Argentina and Costa Rica. In 1998, Jim played concerts with Victor Mendoza's sextet at a jazz festival in Iowa and at the PASIC Convention in London, England. In 2001, Jim played on CD, 'Tracking', with a band called 'Kimotion'. Other sidemen on the CD are; Vinnie Colaiuta, Michael Brecker and Victor Bailey. In 2002, Jim played a a jazz concert in Freiburg, Germany with saxophonist George Garzone. During that same time, Jim also participated as a clinician in a seminar with george and Joe Lovano. Also, in 2002 jim played on two songs on a soon-to-be-released CD by Hiromi Uehara, on the Telarc label.
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