Rhythm guitarist to many Jazz soloists and Gypsy musicians
"Dave Kelbie's rhythm guitar is a joy in itself, firm but relaxed, clearly executed but never obtrusive. Dave knows exactly the best chord voicing for every moment and will add spice with the occasional flourish or series of brisk arpeggios reminiscent of Eddie Lang"
Over the last 20 years Dave Kelbie has been a prominent accompanist to many of the worlds leading jazz soloists and European Gypsy musicians.
Self taught guitarist who’s first professional engagements were with the celebrated Gypsy guitarist from Holland Fapy Lafertin in 1989. A partnership that has lasted until recently with two iconic recordings "Swing Guitars" and "Hungaria".
Through his alliance with Lafertin have come performances with musicians such as Hungarian violinist Roby Lakatos, Tcha Limberger, Bireli Lagrene and Lollo Meier and Angelo Debarre.
For 17 years he’s been the accompanist to UK guitar legend John Etheridge and until recently the groundbreaking UK-based, multi-national Balkan music cooperative Szapora has been his best-known project. Formed in 1996 originally as The Budapest Cafe orchestra, the band kicked off the Balkan music scene in Europe and the UK, consistently featuring some of the finest European musicians.
More recently he has the rhythm guitar seat with London's hard-swinging vintage jazz band The Dime Notes led by Portland pianist Andrew Oliver and Brit clarinetist David Horniblow. With his last project, a seven year stretch with New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher and his project Django a la Creole, Kelbie became one of the most sought after rhythm guitarists on the world stage.
Dave Kelbie held the whole night together with some great chord work
Kelbie with a remarkable rhythm on his guitar delivers an impressive performance
Holly Moors - Moors Magazine, Holland
Kelbie always provides propulsive rhythm guitar
Kenny Mathieson - Inverness Courrier
Dave Kelbie’s rhythm guitar is undoubtedly one of the best in the world
John-Pierre Jackson - Classica
Kelbie is the motor tonight, providing a strict, subtle pulse - whatever the tempo
John Walters - The Guardian
Kelbie maintains the pulse flawlessly at any speed from zero to a hundred and twenty
Ian Mann - Jazzmann
Sweet Chorus is propelled by the partnership of the guitarist Dave Kelbie and the bassist Malcolm Creese
Clive Davis - The Times
The Rolls-Royce and Jaguar of British rhythm sections
Sebastien Lege - Djangostation
Dave Kelbie produced such a solid percussive rhythm you could hear why the original Quintette didn’t use a drummer
Keith Clark - Crackerbox
Lejazzetal, set up by Kelbie in 1989, has won international recognition for starting and promoting the highest quality jazz and European Gypsy music projects on tour worldwide. At the core of the company’s work is a strong emphasis on Gypsy culture through which has come partnerships with many of Europe’s most gifted Roma musicians.
Lejazzetal Records has become a leading company in representing acoustic jazz and Gypsy music internationally. Started in 1990 with the first release by Manouche guitarist Fapy Lafertin, and the latest by Tcha Limberger’s Budapest Gypsy Orchestra. High praise has come for the select catalogue of 20 titles including many awards.