Theaterarbeit als Komponist in Bochum und Köln, Basel, Hamburg, Burgtheater Wien
Zahlreiche Konzerte und Tourneen mit Peter Brötzmann, Tony Oxley, Frank Whright, Willem Breuker, Albert Mangelsdorff, Peter Kowald, Keith Tippet, Lol Coxhill, Marylin Crispel, Manfred Schoof, Fred Frith, Charles Gayle, Cecil Taylor, Luten Petrowsky, Barre Phillips u.v.a.
Willi Kellers spielte auf allen europäischen Festivals und vielen Festivals weltweit.
„…one of the players of our music in Europe!“Cecil Taylor
…ein Schlagzeugsolo der besonderen Art, mit kleinem Instrumentarium und großem Können – Locker aus der Hand, vom erotischen Rhythmus bis zur schreienden Avantgarde, mit kurzen eigenen Texten – konkreten Geschichten und geräuschhaften Klängen verzauberte Willi K. an diesem Abend. Improvisation – Konzeptionen – und trotzdem sinnlich und ergreifenddie Tageszeitung
THOMAS BORGMANN TRIO [With MAX JOHNSON / WILLI KELLERS] – One for Cisco [LP Only/ LTD Edition of 300] (NoBusiness 91; Lithuania) Featuring Thomas Borgmann on soprano & tenor saxes & melodica, Max Johnson on contrabass and Willi Kellers on drums. This set was recorded live at I-Beam, during the New York Tenor Sax Festival in January of 2015. This festival was organized by Cisco Bradley, a professor and concert promoter who runs the New Revolution Arts monthly series at his home in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
The great German free/jazz saxist, Thomas Borgmann, had not played in the US since the turn of the century, so Mr. Bradley invited him back and set up a handful of gigs. To make things even better, another legendary figure, German drummer Willi Kellers also was invited to play in the US for the first time, considering that Kellers is in his sixties.
The ubiquitous NY bassist, Max Johnson, completed this trio, so the set was even better that one might imagine. I attended this set and it was one of the magical sets that you don’t forget. This LP-only release captures that set in all of its glory.
The set began quietly and built to a grand conclusion. Both Mr. Borgmann and Mr. Kellers are on the same wavelength, moving together while Mr. Johnson also knits a tight tapestry between them. Much of the first side is restrained yet consistently enchanting. There is an extraordinary soprano sax solo towards the end of the first side but most of the real fireworks takes place on the second side and they are equally amazing! It doesn’t get any better than this so dive in today and catch a wave of dynamic, free spirits.Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG