Kelly Sill

Applied Jazz Bass, Jazz Combos


Kelly Sill has been a mainstay  of the Chicago jazz scene for more than 35 years. Born in Fargo, North Dakota, he grew up in the Chicago area.  After receiving his bachelor's degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he returned to Chicago.  He has since performed and recorded with a vast array of jazz artists, including Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Art Farmer, Eddie Jefferson, Clark Terry, Cedar Walton, Herb Ellis, Woody Shaw, Hank Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, Barney Kessel, Chris Potter, Ernie Watts, Bob Mintzer, Mel Torme, Anita O'Day, Janice Borla, Jack Mouse, Jackie McLean, Joey DeFrancesco, Donald Byrd, Bobby Watson, Eddie Harris, Scott Hamilton, Victor Lewis, Clifford Jordan, Bucky Pizzarelli and many more.  He has performed at the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Elkhart Jazz Festival, the Red Sea Jazz Festival, Thessaloniki Concert Hall in Greece and Symphony Center in Chicago. 

Kelly's discography includes more than fifty recordings, including his own The Brighter Side with drummer Joel Spencer, and Interior Window with Joel Spencer and pianist Mike Kocour.

Kelly has served on the faculties of Northeastern Illinois University, Lake Forest College, DePaul University and Northern Illinois University.  He has similarly taught at Interlochen Arts Camp, Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshop, Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp, University of Wisconsin/Stevens Point Jazz Camp, Clark Terry Great Plains Jazz Camp and the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) Summer Music Program.