What Others Are Saying....

"We all love the “Art of Music” but a professional musician must deal with the “Business of Music.” Wendell’s book helps you understand the highs and lows that can occur along the journey. As your experience unfolds, you expand your musical vistas, adding to your individuality, growing one step at a time without a direct awareness of this inevitable transition taking place. This book tells it like it is, through the eyes of  a truly professional gentleman, who has full knowledge of the elements needed to achieve success.”

- Sammy Nestico - composer, arranger

“I have had the good fortune to preview Wendell Kelly's book entitled The Professional Musician. In the process of my review, I realized that I would be hard pressed to find a book packed with more pertinent information concerning the actual inner workings of the music business. Wendell has managed to incorporate a diverse collection of material that is not only academic in nature, but extremely practical as well. Wendell is himself an absolute top rate musician and performer whose experiences have made him an excellent candidate to write a book such as this. The breadth of knowledge between the covers will take the reader through an eclectic group of subjects ranging from practical on the job performance tips, to legal advice such as contract negotiation and copyright law. This is a book that would be a valuable asset in the university classroom or in your own home library as an on the job training manual.”
- Cliff Hulling - Professor Biola University Conservatory of Music - Active performer with Pacific Symphony & Ahmanson Theater

“For the past 12 years Wendell has devoted his time to organizing information and writing about what he knows best:  music.  In an effort to help young and young-at-heart musicians, he has compiled valuable information that will assist them in charting the waters of musicianship.  His book:  The Professional Musician: The Music, the Business, the Career, the Life, is a compilation of gems of lessons learned from the best in the Music Industry. Wendell shows how to set goals, make contacts, set up a home office or home studio, how to navigate and survive the mental and physical challenges of a traveling musician.  In addition, he discusses relationships, finances, travel tips, composing and arranging music, and copyright issues.  Wendell also gives a brief synopsis of recording conglomerations with a wonderful tribute to well-known and not-so-well-known musicians, vocalists and backup singers.  Included in his book is a brief history and contributions of Unions, particularly as they relate to the Music Industry.  If you have a budding musician or well-established musician in the family, this book will make a treasured gift for years to come.  I heartily recommend this book!”
- Helen Delaney - editor

“Wendell has come up with a wonderful and thought provoking idea. This book should be in everyone’s library. It is honest and to the point like a guideline for musicians and aspiring musicians. I believe that if you follow the guidelines that Wendell has set up for you, you will have a better opportunity to excel in the Music Business. Remember in order to hit the bulls eye you must have a target! This book provides you with a set-by-set example of how to attain your goals.”
- Tony Lujan - trumpet / clinician

"In my twenty years as a member of The Count Basie Orchestra, we've occasionally required someone to fill in for one of our regulars. Mr. Kelly joined us on a few concerts, as well as a star studded record date at Capitol Studios. Within a couple of tunes on the first gig, Wendell sounded like he'd been playing with us for years! During the recording I was greatly impressed with his professionalism and great attitude. Wendell contributed in more than just an instrumental capacity. Recording can be a very tedious process, and Wendell made it seem like a walk in the park! I look forward to reading Wendell's book and benefiting from his wellspring of information. I suggest you do the same!"
Alvin S. Walker II - trombonist
Count Basie Orchestra - Duke Ellington Orchestra - David Murray Big Band


“I really like how the book is set up for reference.”  
- Brain Swartz – trumpet, Los Angeles

“In 1985, I met this young trombonist, arranger who blew my mind with his amazing talent. Unlike so many young cats, he was also respectful in his rise to the top. I wanted only to help him and turn him onto cats I knew that were successful in the biz ‘cause I knew once cats heard him, he'd be off and soaring. He in return turned me onto things that not only helped me in my career but even kept me in the biz when I was considering dropping out. He then allowed me to take over a gig he helped establish that supported me for 10 years.”
- Duane Benjamin - trombonist, composer, arranger

“Hey Wen,
First off, I can see why this took you so long. It's basically a full-blown reference for musicians, current and future.  I definitely want to read the whole thing. I should let you know that some of the comments are because I'm reading this through a pair of eyes of one who always questioned whether or not “I was good enough or had the ability” to become a professional musician. Something to this day, I always question. Oh well, I guess it's too late to change careers...LOL!  I always remember how we'd call you up to “party” and you'd say, “would love to, but I'm going to practice.”  I'm not sure if I ever told you, but THAT was inspirational.  You had TOTAL dedication and was willing to sacrifice stuff that...well, I don't even remember what we did those nights and I'm sure, it DIDN'T contribute to forwarding my career objective…LOL!  You always had your eye on the ball.”

- Gary Shigenaga – Friend and schoolmate

I had the immense pleasure to meet Wendell Kelly while I was working as a musical director for Jane Zhang(張靚穎) , a Chinese pop singer. I was already very impressed by his resume back then, but working in China is a whole different thing, and for many Western musicians it seems hard to fit in. But that was definitely not the case for Wendell. He did an amazing job while working for Jane Zhang. He is a top-notch horn section leader and arranger, has an incredible trombone sound and amazing social skills, being always able to make a good joke to relax the atmosphere. When English was not an option (which is often the case in China), he was surprisingly always able to make himself understood, using all kinds of non-verbal communication. He’s also extremely versatile: once he even helped arranging background vocals for a song! He’s a true chameleon, in the sense that he can adapt to pretty much any situation without compromising his own musical identity: he’s a genuine music-gentleman.
- Jakub Kubi Groos – pianist – composer – arranger – musical Director

Hey Wendell .... wow!!!!!!
Your book is amazing!!! When you said you were writing a book, I had no idea it was going to be this detailed.
This should be in everyone's personal library, especially those just starting out. I have picked certain subjects to read and I like what I see. Many things I had to learn by trial & error are right here ... AND so many things I should know today (and don't) are right here too! You have expressed everything beautifully. This is the best comprehensive musician career book out there. Congratulations big time!!!

- Valarie King - flute - studio musician, Los Angeles