Kevin Cheli is a percussionist, composer, and educator from St. Louis, MO, who has recently relocated to Ithaca, NY. He specializes in jazz and freely improvised music and has performed and recorded in jazz, rock, folk, blues, and freely improvised contexts throughout the Midwest. While in the Midwest he worked regularly as a freelance musician and was a member of Tommy Halloran’s Guerilla Swing, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes, Todd Mosby’s New Horizons, and Delhi Clerk. With these ensembles he performed at many of St. Louis and Kansas City's most prominent performance spaces including The Sheldon, Jazz at the Bistro, The Cassaloma Ballroom, The Botanical Gardens at the Whitaker Jazz Festival, the Blue Note in Columbia, MO, Green Lady Lounge and The Phoenix.
Kevin holds a BM in Jazz Performance from Webster University and a MA in Music from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. While at UMKC Kevin co-led the World Percussion Ensemble with Brazilian percussion master Doug Auwarter.