One of the San Francisco Bay area's top jazz
vocalists, Frankye Kelly puts a lot of honest feeling into her
singing. "I interpret the songs that have the most meaning
to me. I have a wide range and I can sound like any horn but
I feel that the voice is its own instrument. I love to be one
of the instruments in my band, singing from my heart.
It was obvious from an early age that Frankye Kelly would be
a singer. Living in Jackson, Mississippi for a few years with
her grandparents, she remembers performing in a play when she
was just three. Since her father was in the Air Force, her childhood
was spent living in many different locations including California,
Minnesota, Germany and Deleware and back to California. She heard
the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Sarah Vaugan along
the way as well as Fats Domino and Little Richard although most
of her early singing was in church, acapella groups and choirs.
She mostly sang r&b during this period and had a local hit
with her recording of Johnnie Mae Matthews' "I Have No Choice".
She did backup singing for Marlena Shaw and for Roslyn Ashford
formerly of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. She led her own
group, Flyght, which matched her voice with that of four male
In 2006, Frankye Kelly spent six months singing in China,
performing in Shanghai during a pair of lengthy visits. In
addition, she made some noteworthy appearances in the Bay area.
Clearly with her talents, she is destined to have a much higher
profile in the United States. Being a Buddhist, she has high
aspirations for the future. "I want to continue to sing
and teach, performing my music for large audiences.I am working
for world peace through music. I feel that jazz brings peace
and love to all of those who hear it."