b. Örjan Kjellin, 21 July 1944, Ljungby, Sweden. Kellin began playing clarinet at the age of 15 and two years later formed his first band in partnership with pianist Lars Edegran. The band played music in the New Orleans manner. Kellin made his first records in his native Sweden at the age of 17. In 1966, he moved to New Orleans where he became a regular performer at several leading jazz venues including Preservation Hall. In 1968 he was a founder member of the New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra. He also led his own bands in the city including, in 1970, a band which held a residency at the Maison Bourbon Club. Two years later he formed the New Orleans Joymakers. Kellin recorded with several veteran New Orleans musicians including Josiah ‘Cié’ Frazier, Preston Jackson, Jim Robinson, Jabbo Smith, Zutty Singleton and Kid Thomas Valentine. In 1978, Kellin played with the NORO for the soundtrack of the movie Pretty Baby. The following year he appeared in New York with the stage musical One Mo’ Time for which he was musical director and co-arranger in addition to playing in the onstage band. In the early 80s he appeared with the same show during its long and successful run in London’s West End.
Kellin has toured extensively with his own bands and with bands formed largely from New Orleans veterans. In 1992 he made his first solo tour of the UK. A gifted and highly musical clarinettist, Kellin’s dedication to the music of New Orleans has contributed greatly to the preservation of the style. He has an excellent technique and solos with flair and eloquence. As an admirable ensemble player, he lends authority to any group of which he is a member.