For Jeff Kelly, performing in the “Live at the Center” series will be special.
“It’s a very cool opportunity,” he said. “I’ve seen the presentation quality of the other events. I’m very happy to be doing that.”
Jeff Kelly and the Graveyard Shift will perform a free livestream concert at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 7 from the Studio Theater in the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.
The “Live at the Center” features Indianapolis-area and regional artists in genres from jazz to classical to soul and indie rock.
Kelly, a singer/songwriter, has been playing with the Graveyard Shift since 2018.
“Of course, 2020 is kind of an off year (with the pandemic),” he said.
The Indianapolis resident said the group’s music is difficult to describe but said the genre of Americana suits a lot of their songs.
“There is a mix of heavier rock songs and also a lot of acoustic songs,” Kelly said. “The Graveyard Shift is somewhat of a rotating cast of musicians, a lot of them being some of the premier jazz players in town.”
Participating in the “Live at the Center” 45-minute concert will be Mina Keohane, vocals and piano, and Charlie Ballantine, an electric guitarist. Kelly will play acoustic guitar.
“They are two really great jazz players here in Indianapolis,” Kelly said of Keohane and Ballantine. “But sometimes I have a band of eight people. It really depends on the show and kind of what the intent of the show is. If I know it’s going to be more of a big stage that needs some loud noise, we’ll go with a rock ‘n’ roll band. If I can do something in a smaller setting, I might do a trio or more of an acoustic set. It’s a really fun project for me where I can kind of evolve and play for the show.”
Kelly said the show is his first livestream with any other members of the band.
“I do a lot of livestream stuff solo,” he said. “Oftentimes, that’s for fundraising efforts for people that need it right now. I’ve been able to keep relatively busy with that through 2020. This will be the first time I’m playing with some friends (since the pandemic began).”
In the summer, Kelly said he kept busy with in-person performances at outdoor venues.
Kelly said he primarily performs original songs.
“I might throw a couple of covers in there. It depends on the crowd and the show,” he said.
Kelly has released two albums, “Jeff Kelly and the Graveyard Shift” in 2018, and “The Worst Thing for You” in 2019.
Kelly said he eventually wants to perform a “Live at the Center” show when audiences can attend.
Kelly, who is originally from Stow, Mass., moved from Rochester, N.Y., to Indianapolis in 2009 for a civil engineering job. He learned to play guitar shortly after moving.
“I do have a lot of friends who are full-time musicians, and right now it’s very hard to monetize,” he said. “It’s always hard to just monetize just live performances. You always have to have some other coals in the fire.”
To register for the free livestream, visit thecenterpresents.org. For more about Kelly, visit jeffkellylovesdogs.com.