Kellye Gray

Kellye Gray, a native of Texas, is a jazz singer who has a stunning musicality and warm, soothing voice. Gray’s popularity continues to rise. She has recorded over half a dozen albums as a leader, and logged performances at top venues and festivals such as Yoshi’s, SFJAZZ, Lincoln Center, and Spoleto Festival. Kellye was honored to share the stage alongside legends Ray Charles and Dizzy Gillespie, Etta Jam, to name just a few. In 1990, her debut album, Standards In Gray (Justice Records), broke her into mainstream radio, launching the indie-oriented release into the top twenty. Her unique sound is a result of years of live performance. Alisa Clancy, KCSM’s music director, calls her “the real deal”. Gray started songwriting at age 17. She was self-taught to play guitar and produced one-woman shows at art galleries in order to showcase her original compositions. She was a professional improv comic actor by the age of 19. She was awarded the position of Stage Manager, where she learned the art foley sound. She was using her voice for more than just singing sound effects. Her parents would drag her to strip clubs and blues bars in Dallas’ Deep Ellum district, or to Gulf Coast roadhouses to dance to unknown acts such as Clifton Chenier or B.B. King. Gray’s songs are full of rhythm and blues. Hi Res Hi Res Her dad’s records would have been the one that taught her jazz. While her parents hung down with Monk, Sarah, and MJQ, she hung upstairs with Zepplin, Aretha, James Brown, Aretha, and the Doors while her parents hung in their downstairs room. She would spend her sleepless nights downstairs, digging through stacks in her living room for something to help her fall asleep. She would not be able to see those sub-conscious jazz chords until she was 27, when she began her primal journey through scat solo. Television and radio were her gods as a child growing up in the 60’s. Television introduced her to vaudevillian comedians, singers, musicians and dancers. They were mentors and guides. She is a captivating live performer. Gray’s jazz sensibility filters through Gray’s latest release, And, They Call Us Cowboys (the Texas Music Project (gr8 Records)), to reimagine the timeless and varied music of the Lone Star State. Radio and critics welcomed the record and added it to their collection of collectible discography. from

Leave a Comment