Andrea Keller was born in Sydney, Australia of Czech parents in 1973. She started piano lessons at the age of seven and continued studying through her high school years at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music High School where she won a schoolarship to study classical piano, flute and saxophone.
Convinced from young age that she would make a cereer in
classical music, her aspirations took a different direction after she
discovered jazz at the age of 14 and started performing with the jazz
ensemble of the Sydney Youth Orchestra. After receiving her A.Mus.A with
Distinction on Piano, Andrea attended the University of Wollongong for
her first year of a Bachelor of Creative Arts majoring in composition.
She continued her studies at the Victorian College of the Arts where she
graduated with Bachelor of Music Performance in Improvisation and Bachelor
of Music (Honors)
Formed in 1997, Andrea's duo with arco double bassist Anita Hustas, Hustas-Keller, held performances at the Melbourne Women's Jazz Festival and at the 1999 Melbourne International Jazz Festival supporting Mulgrew Miller (USA) and Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (Holland). The group also played for SIMA in Sydney, then performed at the Pinnacles Music Festival, Brisbane and at the 2002 Freemantle International Jazz Festival.
The Andrea Keller Quintet made its debut in 1999 at the Melbourne Women's Jazz Festival with subsequent performances on Jim McLeod's Jazz Track and the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. In 2002, the Quintet's album Thirteen Sketches, which was supported by The Australia Council and distributed by Newmarket Music won Best Jazz Album at the 16th annual ARIA Music Awards.
In 2001, the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative commissioned Andrea to form an octet to open the 2000 Melbourne Women's Festival where she also played in a sextet featuring Sandy Evans.
Andrea's Bela Bartok Project, formed in 2002, debuted live at the Melbourne Jazz Co-operative. Later, Andrea recorded a selection of seventeen Mikrokosmos by Bartok, which she arranged for Jim McLeod's Jazz Track at the ABC. Also in 2002, Andrea wrote Three Portraits of a Simpleton - a 15-minute work commissioned by Mike Nock's Big Small Band with funding from The Australia Council and received a commission from the Australian Art Orchestra for the concert series Hard Core.
Andrea has recently returned from six months overseas after
winning the inaugural MCA/Freedman Foundation Jazz Fellowship. Andrea
travelled through Eastern Europe and the UK, playing concerts in Prague,
where she was based, throughout the Czech Republic and in Edinburgh, Scotland.
She also attended workshops and had lessons from musicians such as John
Taylor and Karel Ruzicka.