PRO-PORTRAIT: Pat Kelley has had a life-long love affair with the guitar.

“Anyone can put something out if they want. It has definitely changed the landscape. Most people aren’t spending as much money, and that affects the studio musicians too.”

So, this is where Pat’s talent comes in. He’s built a successful career based on his reputation to play well, and to be versatile—he has the ability to cover quite a bit of ground musically, from Jazz, to R&B, and even pop music. His foundation in jazz, and his lifelong commitment to his instrument makes him in-demand. “I think versatility and some style has probably set me apart from other guys who are just hardcore Jazz players or guys that do nothing but Rock or R&B.”

“It seems like a lot of things have just flowed over the years, without too much stress.”

Earlier in his career, he rarely turned anything down. “That’s what you do as a musician.” But, by using his passion, and his talent to make a career, he’s in a situation now where he can turn down more, and not have to do everything that comes to him. For example, he’s touring less (to spend time with his wife and daughter), and teaching and mentoring more. “I feel like I’m a little freer to pursue what I want to do artistically. I’m not trying to do every single thing. I think I’ve really developed a Jazz guitar sound that people really identify with… and I hope to share that a little bit more. I’ve got plenty of time to do that, I think.”

For as long as he can remember, Pat Kelley has been with his guitar, “It was just something I did, in a more spiritual way than anything. Everyone always identified me with a guitar, and I guess I did too.”

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