Kelly Powers—pianist, composer, and educator—is an artist actively performing and recording on the New York City and Boston jazz scenes. She graduated magna cum laude from Jackie McLean’s Institute for Jazz Studies at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. She also received an M. M. in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Dave Liebman and Garry Dial, among others.
Kelly has performed with many renowned jazz artists including Jimmy Heath, Eddie Henderson, Nat Reeves, Steve Davis, Jeremy Pelt, Gregg August, Dezron Douglas, and Luques Curtis. She has also performed and toured with many big bands including the Artie Shaw Orchestra, Cab Calloway Orchestra, Jack Jeffers NYC Classics, George Gee’s Swing Orchestra, and Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra. She has played many venues around the world, including: Jazz Cafe (London), Body and Soul (Tokyo), Cafe Rosenberg (Reykjavik), Jazz Club (Barcelona); Smoke, Cleopatra’s Needle, Kitano, Zinc Bar, Swing 46, Minton’s Playhouse, the Carlyle, and the Rainbow Room—all in New York City; and Scullers and the Regattabar in Boston.
She has released two original albums: The Kelly Powers Trio (featuring Grammy nominated drummer Kendrick Scott) and The Kelly Powers Project (co-produced by Harold Mabern), on which she composed and arranged all of the repertoire.
Kelly is the former Director of Jazz Combos at Albright College and taught online courses: Jazz History and Pop Music History. She has been teaching piano for the last fourteen years, has served on faculty at Northeastern University and the New England Conservatory of Music in the Preparatory and Continuing Education Departments. Previously, she taught jazz piano at Swarthmore College and served as Head of the Keyboard Department at the True School of Music in Mumbai, India, also teaching courses in improvisation and ear training, and hosting the school’s first ever jam session. While abroad, she performed at the Mahindra Blues Festival, opening for the Grammy Award winner Derek Trucks.