Kelly Friesen
 
  Canadian-born, Bassist/Vocalist Kelly Friesen has played music ranging from 1920’s style Dixieland with “Woody Allen’s” New Orleans Jazz Band (1997-2001) to Beethoven’s 5th with the Julliard Symphony Orchestra, to straight ahead Pop with “Sister Sledge” (We Are Family).

His formal training included Classical studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto for bass, piano, voice and theory. He also received 4 years of private instruction with legendary Jazz Bassist Ray Brown (1993-1997) and Classicist Homer Mensch.

As a singer Kelly has been compared to the likes of Nat King Cole and Chet Baker which is clearly evident on his debut CD “Back in Time” released in 1997 featuring Howard Alden and George Kelly.

Since moving to New York in 1993 he has firmly established himself as a top sideman and leader working with jazz greats such as Herb Ellis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Etta Jones, Dick Hyman, Jerome Richardson, Frank Wess and Joe Wilder to name a few. Some of his credits as sideman and/or leader in New York City include performances at Town Hall, The Blue Note, Birdland, The Jazz Standard, The 92nd Street Y Jazz Series, JVC Jazz Festival, The Iridium, and The Rainbow Room.

Kelly has appeared in two feature films including Woody Allen’s “Sweet and Lowdown” (1999) featuring Sean Penn and Uma Thurman, and the critically acclaimed documentary “Last of the First” produced by Anja Baron, featuring the “Harlem Renaissance Orchestra” which opened at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. In addition to being in the film, his unique “Slap Bass” style is featured on the entire Sony soundtrack of “Sweet and Lowdown.”

Mr. Friesen has toured extensively with various groups in the US , Canada , Japan , Turkey , France and Germany.

Currently he can be seen singing and playing at a variety of venues in and around NYC. He has led a steady gig at Shelly’s New York (one of New York ’s leading Jazz clubs) for the past 5 years featuring jazz greats such as: Frank Wess, Ralph Lalama, Warren Vache and Joe Cohn.

His next CD “Sings Songs of Love” is to be released in the spring of 2006.