Greg Kelley began studying the trumpet at age 10. He attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, where in addition to studying the Conservatory curriculum, he also immersed himself in a deep study of avant- garde and experimental music, eventually coming to the conclusion that his musical focus fell outside of the academic sphere. After his studies, Kelley moved back to his native Massachusetts, quickly insinuated himself into the local avant-garde circles and soon commenced a period of intense travel and collaboration, bringing him across the United States, throughout Europe, Japan and South America.
He has appeared on over 60 albums and despite a more limited travel schedule, he still manages to play in a number of groups including Nmperign (as abstract improvisatory duo and as horn section for ex-Galaxie 500-ers Damon & Naomi), Heathen Shame, the undr quartet and the BSC, among others.
Other collaborators have included Jandek, Keiji Haino, Donald Miller (Borbetomagus), Anthony Braxton, Kevin Drumm, Christian Wolff, Pauline Oliveros, Joe McPhee and Lionel Marchetti. In addition to playing the trumpet,
Kelley has also recorded music using electronics and musique concrete elements, sometimes utilizing trumpet based sound sources, other times not.
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"Kelley takes an atom and constructs a world out of it...[He] is one of the great
originators...no one before him has so unashamedly fused flesh to metal."
--Gordon Marshall, All About Jazz