Kelly Durbin

Kelly Durbin

Associate Professor of Instruction
Director-Jazz Ensemble
Digital Music/MIDI Lab
Tags: MUSI

Professional Preparation

M.M. - Jazz Studies, Minor in Piano
University of North Texas College of Music - 1991
B.M. - Jazz Studies, Minor in Music Theory
North Texas State University (UNT) - 1982

Research Areas

Current Goals at UTD
  • To continue working towards developing a more integrated program of music classes, so that students may move further in their studies as they develop.
  • To expand the scope of MIDI and digital audio classes being offered.
  • To increase the number of students active in the music classes by provIding interesting and stimulating classes.
  • To increase the number of performing ensembles under the jazz umbrella so that we can accommodate the increasing number of interested students.
  • To further raIse the level of musicianship in our Jazz ensembles.
  • To bring historically important jazz legends to our campus to perform in the jazz concert series
  • To become a more effective teacher in each of my classes.


Senior Lecturer
University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas [1995–Present]

Additional Information

Personal Statement
Kelly Durbin created and directs the UT Dallas Jazz Ensemble. He also introduced and teaches classes in Digital Music/MIDI, jazz history, jazz and commercial piano, jazz theory, jazz small group, and jazz improvisation. 

 Kelly Durbin brings over 45 years of performing experience to his teaching. He currently remains active as a jazz pianist performing at local and regional festivals and venues, often with international jazz artists. He has worked with the Woody Herman Orchestra, Frank Tiberi, David "Fathead" Newman, Barry Lee Hall and the Ellington Small Band, James Clay, LeRoy Cooper, Shelley Carroll, Hank Crawford, Mack Goldsbury, Jimmy Greene, Chris DeRose, Cornell DuPree, Tom Morrell, Greg Bissonnette, Billy Hart, Ed Soph, Sebastian Whittaker, Fred Hamilton, Chuck Rainey, Lynn Seaton, Cheryl Bentyne, Jay Clayton, and Rosanna Vitro, to name a few. He was a long-time member of the Marchel Ivery Quintet, as well as ensembles led by bassist James Gilyard and saxophonist Wayne DeLano.  He can be heard on recordings by Wayne Delano, Chris DeRose, Duane Durrett, James Gilyard, Mack Goldsbury, and Candice Reyes.

Prior to arriving at UT Dallas, Durbin taught jazz piano and traditional class piano at Cedar Valley College. He also served as an adjunct professor at the University of North Texas, where he taught advanced jazz theory, aural skills, and small group. During his graduate studies at UNT, he was granted the Teaching Fellowship in jazz piano for two years. He studied piano at UNT with Steve Harlos, Dan Haerle, and Bob Rogers. 

 Kelly Durbin serves an integral role in the planning and implementation of the annual jazz series. The jazz series provides an opportunity for UTD students to hear international jazz artists perform, as well as to interact with them in an informal lecture and workshop setting.  He performs an annual concert at UTD, in addition to other faculty recitals.  He is often invited to lecture, conduct workshops, adjudicate, and perform jazz in universities, high schools, museums, and arts centers.  He also served for two years as a member of the UTD Academic Senate.
Service contributions to the university

News Articles

Kelly Durbin & Friends To Perform In an Evening of Jazz Feb. 13 at UTD
RICHARDSON, Texas (Jan. 22, 2004) — The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) will present Kelly Durbin & Friends featuring UTD faculty member and jazz pianist Kelly Durbin along with jazz bassist James Gilyard, saxophonist Karl Lampman, drummer Dennis Durick and vocalist Peggy Lauren Friday, Feb. 13, at 8 p.m. in the University Theatre. 

Durbin directs the Jazz Ensemble at UTD and teaches classes in music theory, MIDI, jazz history and jazz keyboard. Kelly received his master of music degree from The University of North Texas and has enjoyed long tenures with the Marchel Ivery Quintet and the James Gilyard Ensemble. His professional credits include work with David "Fathead" Newman, James Clay, Chuck Rainey, Billy Hart, Cornell Dupree, Ed Soph, Lynn Seaton, Hank Crawford, Sebastian Whittaker and Roseanne Vitro.
UT Dallas’ Kelly Durbin Brings Together Local Musicians for Jazz Concert
RICHARDSON, Texas (Oct. 31, 2006) — Kelly Durbin, jazz pianist and faculty member at The University of Texas at Dallas, will perform with various local musicians at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in the Jonsson Performance Hall on campus.

Durbin will perform with Rodney Booth (trumpet), Andrew Griffith (drums), Karl Lampman (saxophone), Peggy Lohr (vocals) and Lyles West (bass). Kelly Durbin and Friends is one of the most anticipated annual events of the arts and performance season.
Jazz Artists to Join Faculty Member for Concert
Kelly Durbin, jazz pianist and faculty member at UT Dallas, will present a concert featuring several of Dallas’ finest jazz musicians on Friday, April 4, in the Jonsson Performance Hall at 8:00 p.m.  

Durbin will perform with James Gilyard (bass), Simone Jackson-Rodgers (vocals), Karl Lampman (saxophone) and Lyles West (bass). “Kelly Durbin and Friends” is one of the most highly anticipated annual events of the Art & Performance Season.