Elden Kelly and Carolyn had the opportunity to first meet working together with jazz violinist/vocalist Tia Imani Hanna in 2011. The two quickly realized that their common interests in Arabic and Turkish music, improvisation, and sacred musical expression would make them natural improvisational companions.
Elden has been making waves since moving to Lansing with his ability to combine jazz with a broad range of global music traditions. He sings and plays the Glissentar, an electric 11-string fretless guitar that can sound like an oud, saz, cumbus or tar. His style, while based in the traditions of both Arabic and Turkish music, is a delightful contemporary fusion that carries the music forward for today’s audiences. Balancing virtuosity and soulfulness, Kelly will take you on a musical journey to re-imagined homelands.
After graduating from Boston’s prestigious New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in Contemporary Improvisation in 2008, Elden accepted a teaching assistantship at Michigan State with Rodney Whitaker, earning a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology in 2011.
Elden and Carolyn combine a broad palette of world strings and percussion ranging from cajon, djembe, darbouka, riq, frame drums, kalimba, hammered dulcimer, jaw harp, gongs, tuning forks and more. The two can work in a broad combination of styles and genres, ranging from Afro-Arabic fusion, jazz, trance, funk, new age/meditative and beyond.
The two find common inspiration in the free jazz duo of William Parker and Hamid Drake, and the spiritual teachings of the Baha’i faith, mysticisim, and Sufism. They continue to explore an improvisational trio with Tia Hanna, as well, and have completed their first album as that trio “The Spaces Between Us.” Koebel and Kelly also collaborated extensively on “Collected Works: Vol III~Collaborations,” on the latest Dave Sharp project “Worlds,” and on the 2015 meditation project “Oscillation.” For upcoming events, visit: www.eldenkelly.com