Biography

David Elan Kelley was born on October 13, 1979 in the suburbs of Washington DC, our nation’s capitol.  Michael Kelley, his father, was an active performing Irish folk musician which gave David an early introduction to the world of music.  David’s first musical instrument was a set of bongo drums, which he had fiddled with as early as 4 years of age.  David experimented with various other instruments in these early years, including a brief stint as a clarinetist in grade school. However, it wasn’t until the age of 15 that David would pick up his first six string and begin a relationship with the guitar that would turn into a lifelong passion.

David spent his later teenage years and early twenties traveling around the country, living in such cities as Phoenix, Arizona and San Francisco, California, all the while teaching himself guitar and music by ear and by watching and learning from those around him.  During these years David had a number of different day jobs, including working pretty much every position in the restaurant industry, driving taxis, and door to door canvassing for environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, all the while performing on the streets of America as a professional busker, where he learned to overcome the fear of performance that paralyzes so many would be musicians.  David also participated as a member in a number of musical groups during these years, including The Freudian Slips and The Twotone Project.  

In the Fall of 2005, at the age of 25, a momentous event occurred when David was accepted to the classical music program at Southern Oregon University in Beautiful Ashland, Oregon.  Here he would begin his studies of the classical guitar under the tutelage of Professor David Rogers, international guitarist and composer.  During his time at Southern Oregon University David performed and was involved in numerous musical projects including performing and composing for solo guitar and guitar ensemble, performing in a small jazz combo, performing in numerous student composition projects and recitals, as well as singing with both the concert and jazz choirs.  David was awarded a music scholarship for his performance ability on solo guitar.  He also had the privilege of participating in a number of master classes with some of the most prestigious classical guitarists in the world, including the Grammy award-winning UK based virtuoso performer and instructor David Russell, the Grammy award-winning Los Angeles based composer Andrew York, and Ralph Towner, solo artist and founding member of the classic world-fusion musical group Oregon.  In the summer of 2010 David graduated from SOU with a Bachelor’s degree in Classical Guitar Performance, receiving the highest scholastic honors.

It was also during David’s time at Southern Oregon that he became one of the founding members of the Ashland Guitar Quartet, along with his instructor David Rogers and fellow students Stephan Kane and Matthew Gwinup.  The Ashland Guitar Quartet would perform and tour for the next several years in and around the Pacific Northwest. David composed numerous original works during his time with the quartet as well as arrangements of popular tunes such as Michelle by George Harrison, Comfortably Numb by Gilmore and Waters and the Super Mario Brother’s and Legend of Zelda theme songs.

David currently resides in Portland, Oregon and actively performs and composes around the city and abroad.  He Performs solo shows as his “Two-Hand Band” and as a solo instrumental guitarist, and is a member of the newly formed Oregon Guitar Trio with fellow guitarists David Rogers and Matt Gwinup.  David is available to hire for all musical projects including performances in solo and ensemble settings, music lessons and commissioned compositions. If you would like to contact David regarding any potential projects please call him at (240) 316-0217, email at elanpromusic@gmail.com or visit the Contact Page, or visit the Booking/Rates Page for information on pricing.

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