Ryan Kelly front right

Back Left: McKay Harris, Front Right: Ryan Kelly

Unlike most young kids who are made to take piano lessons and finally convince their mothers to let them quit, Ryan soaked up all the musical training he could receive when young and still does. This has paid off. Ryan Kelly, a local BYU student majoring in Jazz Piano/Classical Piano awes audiences with his perfect pitch and brilliance in musical theory, allowing him to play any song upon hearing it for the first time.

An interview with the humble musician:
Q. What instruments do you play?
A. Piano, guitar, and alto sax; piano is my choice instrument [He also took voice lessons for a couple years]

Q. So I understand that you can just hear a song for the first time and immediately play it. How is that? Can you do this because of your perfect pitch?
A. Yeah perfect pitch helps, but that is more of a party trick. It is my understanding of music theory that helps me more in such situations.

Q. How do you get inspiration for song lyrics?
A. Just your feelings and then sit down and it comes out in your fingers and then you sing. It just comes out and you try to write in the most poetic way possible.

Q. Who are your influences?
A. Bright Eyes, Amos Lee, Sufjan Stevens, Dave Matthews, and the list could go on forever.

Q. What is one of your favorite classical songs to play on the piano?
A. Gaspard de el nuit [by Maurice Ravel]

Although he is extremely talented in music, both theory-wise and performance, Ryan enjoys all kinds of music. Joking with his roommate, he ended the interview by playing some Tenacious D Wonderboy and Tribute on his guitar for me.

Ryan mostly performs solo and even has his own solo album, One Man Guy.  However, Ryan also has a band, “Green Like July,” with his pal, MckKay Harrris. The band, collaborated September of last year, involves both musicians composing and singing with McKay primarily on guitar and Ryan on Piano.  Although separated while in school, the band still gets together each semester for concerts.

Check out  Green Like July’s Myspace for information on the band’s album and concerts or for information on Ryan Kelly’s One Man Guy cd and shows.