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Grace Kelly

As Grace Kelly defiantly reminds us on The Other One, a standout number from her upcoming

Album, Trying To Figure It Out, she’s not looking to be like anyone else. “Got my own thing,” she sings over the song’s urban, trance-like groove. Although the singer and saxophone player has been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike as a jazz musician, the track’s exhilarating chorus, haunting keyboard hook and brittle electro edge show an artist interested only in playing what she loves labels be damned.

While a current Kelly concert might delight jazz purists with Great American Songbook standards, it could just as easily inspire mainstream listeners with Gracei-fied takes on the likes of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, Coldplay’s Magic or Sia’s Chandelier.

But whatever the style, the 23-year-old seven-time winner of the Downbeat critics poll (as a rising star in the alto sax category) spices up the sound with the lyrical and soulful phrasing of her instrument. Kelly, who guested with the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra as part of the events surrounding Barack Obama’s inauguration celebration at the request of the ensemble’s director, Wynton Marsalis - remains as committed to superior playing as ever.

For Kelly, evolution is part of the jazz artist’s credo.

"I'm a very strong believer that jazz is about improvisation and about creating and spontaneity," Kelly once said in an interview. "That's what really drew me to it, but I think there's plenty of music that can fuse elements of jazz with its own type of sound whether it's rock or pop. I'm not into 'No, this isn't jazz.' I like everything that's good and I encourage people to think that way."

Kelly says she has been well served by applying those same jazz concepts to the personal demands of everyday life. “I really take the concept of improvisation and spontaneity in the music, and I live it,” she said.

That personal readiness for anything accounts, in part, for the open-spirited nature of her art. “I try to say yes as much as possible,” Kelly says. “If you have a closed idea of what you want in your head, and it’s only going to go this way from - A to B to C - you miss a lot of other things that could be popping up. And because you have such a small mind frame, you won’t be able to see those great opportunities.”

Drawn to jazz by melodic players like Stan Getz and Paul Desmond, Kelly also found in the music a freedom to express herself that she had not found in her classical piano lessons. Née Grace Chung in Wellesley, Mass., in 1992, Kelly started taking clarinet lessons in Grade 4 but quickly switched to alto sax at the age of 10. She was soon transcribing Miles Davis pieces.

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5
Album Review

Grace Kelly with Strings: At the Movies

Read "At the Movies" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Saxophonist Grace Kelly, who some years ago graduated from the Child Prodigy class in which she was a prominent member, has entered her third decade by recording for the first time with a string-based orchestra. The theme is At the Movies, and Kelly opens with a James Bond medley and closes with five themes from Walt Disney films. Besides playing soprano, alto, tenor and baritone sax, Kelly further shows her versatility by singing on more than half ...

2
Radio & Podcasts

New Releases from Ernesto Cervini, Remy Le Boeuf, Grace Kelly, Dan Pugach With Birthday Shoutouts to Miriam Makeba, Keely Smith, Carole Bayer Sager & More

Read "New Releases from Ernesto Cervini, Remy Le Boeuf, Grace Kelly, Dan Pugach With Birthday Shoutouts to Miriam Makeba, Keely Smith, Carole Bayer Sager & More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


Women's History Month continues with new releases from Ernesto Cervini's Turboprop, Remy Le Boeuf's Assembly of Shadows, Grace Kelly, Dan Pugach Big Band and Cecilia Sanchietti, with birthday shoutouts to Miriam Makeba, Eric Comstock, Anat Fort, Marya Lawrence, Rachelle Garniez, Frank Senior, Keely Smith, Carol Sloane, Tomoko Ohno and Carole Bayer Sager, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by seeing them live and online. Purchase their music so they can continue to distract, comfort, ...

1
Radio & Podcasts

Pop - Jazz - Why Not Both?

Read "Pop - Jazz - Why Not Both?" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


Jazz can struggle to find an audience, so artists are always looking for ways to appeal to a broader listenership while keeping their artistic hearts pure. In this episode, the boys look at four albums that, with much success, try to bridge the gap between jazz and more popular forms of music, along with a more “hard-core" live album that takes no prisoners -but at least offers sexy cover-art. Sigur Ros and the early -and very strange -days of Danny ...

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Interview

Grace Kelly: Free From Boundaries

Read "Grace Kelly: Free From Boundaries" reviewed by Doug Hall


If you look at all the accomplishments of musical prodigy Grace Kelly, (acclaimed jazz saxophonist, singer, entertainer, songwriter and composer) it doesn't immediately register that that she is just 25 years old. With a resume that includes a CD release (Dreaming in 2005) at 12, a special guest artist performance with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops 2007 Jazz Series at 14, and at 15 an invitation by Wynton Marsalis, in 2008, to play with Dave Brubeck for the “Let ...

4
Album Review

Grace Kelly: Grace Kelly: Live at Scullers

Read "Grace Kelly: Live at Scullers" reviewed by Larry Taylor


Grace Kelly is indeed a prodigy on alto sax, having made her first recording at 12. Two years ago, at 18, her sixth album was released The Man with the Hat (Pazz Productions), a collaboration with the renowned Phil Woods on alto. That CD turned up the spotlight on her genius, bringing her increased attention. She shined in duets with Woods and had ample space to stretch in solos, playing mostly standards. She also adequately sang two songs. ...

359
Album Review

Grace Kelly / Phil Woods: Man With the Hat

Read "Man With the Hat" reviewed by Larry Taylor


Jazz veteran Phil Woods carries the alto sax torch from Charlie Parker, following in the footsteps of Art Pepper, Cannonball Adderley and Lee Konitz. Now he bestows the honor on 18-year-old altoist/vocalist Grace Kelly, its light shining on Man With A Hat. Woods, 80, with over a half-century of playing, first met Kelly in 2006 when she was 14 and attending the Stanford Jazz Residency Program in California, where Woods was an instructor. He encouraged her and, ...

179
Album Review

Grace Kelly and Lee Konitz: GRACEfulLEE

Read "GRACEfulLEE" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Most sixteen year old musicians are honing their chops in the high school marching and concert bands. Some of the luckier ones attend a school that has a jazz band where a beginner can get a taste of improvisation. Sixteen year old alto saxophonist Grace Kelly--a testament to joyful precocious talent and a killer support system--trades licks with the legendary Phil Woods and records a CD, GRACEfullLEE, with the iconic Lee Konitz.Kelly's previous CD, Every Road I Walked ...

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5

Performance / Tour

Chelsea Table + Stage: New York's New Hotspot

Chelsea Table + Stage: New York's New Hotspot

Source: Scott Thompson Public Relations

Chelsea Table + Stage is New York's newest hotspot for intimate dining and music. Offering a wide variety of American-fare menu items, with curated wine + cocktails, audiences can experience some of the best touring performers in the world featured alongside local emerging artists. Chelsea Table + Stage opens the doors to hospitality, entertainment, and enjoyment every night, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a 10-seat in-theatre bar, lofted VIP mezzanine for private groups, and table seating for the perfect date ...

Video / DVD

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: It's "Go Time" for Grace Kelly

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: It's "Go Time" for Grace Kelly

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

This week, let's check out some videos featuring saxophonist and singer Grace Kelly, who's coming to St. Louis to perform starting Wednesday, February 13 through Sunday, February 17 at Jazz St. Louis. Already a music business veteran at age 26, Kelly grew up in the Boston area, recording and releasing her first album when she was just 12 years old. She subsequently earned her GED at 16, and went on to study at the New England Conservatory and Berklee, graduating ...

Performance / Tour

Jazz this week: Grace Kelly, Steve Swell Quintet, Kevin Eubanks, a benefit for Puerto Rico, and more

Jazz this week: Grace Kelly, Steve Swell Quintet, Kevin Eubanks, a benefit for Puerto Rico, and more

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

The fall presenting season is gathering some momentum this week, as the calendar of jazz and creative music for the next few days in St. Louis includes three significant touring headliners- two of whom are making their local debuts- plus a benefit raising money for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, and more. Let's go to the highlights... Wednesday, October 4 Saxophonist and singer Grace Kelly makes her St. Louis debut in the first of four nights at Jazz at the ...

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Event

Tickets Moving Fast For May 14 Memorial Concert For Phil Woods In Pittsfield, Mass.

Tickets Moving Fast For May 14 Memorial Concert For Phil Woods In Pittsfield, Mass.

Source: Ed Bride Associates

Tribute in Pittsfield, Mass., to Feature the Jazz Master’s Protégé Grace Kelly With Brian Lynch, Bill Mays, Steve Gilmore and Bill Goodwin Berkshires Jazz, Inc. has announced that tickets are on sale, and moving briskly, for the May 14 memorial concert in honor of the late alto saxophonist Phil Woods. To take place at Barrington Stage, in Pittsfield, Mass., the tribute will be performed by a gathering of the NEA Jazz Master’s quintet, with Brian Lynch (trumpet), Bill Mays (piano), ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Grace Kelly

Jazz Musician of the Day: Grace Kelly

Source: Michael Ricci


Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Grace Kelly

Jazz Musician of the Day: Grace Kelly

Source: Michael Ricci


1

Recording

A "Sweet Sweet" Valentine From Grace Kelly

A "Sweet Sweet" Valentine From Grace Kelly

Source: Great Scott P.R.oductions

Crossover single from the jazz prodigy bodes to be her first mainstream hit Gainesville, FL: After wowing the straight-ahead jazz world and garnering worldwide acclaim, 20-year-old wunderkind Grace Kelly has set her sights upon winning hearts in the mainstream with an infectious crossover confection that will be delivered on Valentine’s Day. Putting the saxophone aside to charm with her enchanting voice, the lilting stomp and clap single, “Sweet Sweet Baby,” will be released by Woodward Avenue Records accompanied by a ...

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Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Grace Kelly

Jazz Musician of the Day: Grace Kelly

Source: Michael Ricci


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Performance / Tour

Jazz Sax Stars Grace Kelly and Phil Woods Perform in Rockport on December 11

Jazz Sax Stars Grace Kelly and Phil Woods Perform in Rockport on December 11

Source: MassJazz: Jazz in Massachusetts

Star jazz saxophonists Grace Kelly and Phil Woods are performing together in concert for two shows at the Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport on Sunday, December 11, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $39-$49 and can purchased online or by calling 978 546-7391. Kelly is an 18 year old rising jazz star in the music world, who has already toured the world and recorded several award-winning albums. Woods is a veteran jazz legend whose illustrious career ...

99

Interview

Youth and Grace

Youth and Grace

Source: Rifftides by Doug Ramsey

The past few days, Rifftides has been unavoidably concerned with deaths and with musicians aged 80 or older. Am I the only one ready for an infusion of youth? Grace Kelly, born in 1992, may not be an elected representative of the talented teenagers in jazz, but she gets the nod here because for several years she has been playing well and developing steadily, and I just saw her new video, and it made me feel good. See if it ...

"Norah Jones for Smart People" New York Music Daily "The next name in jazz? Sax player and singer Grace Kelly may well be it." - Without A Net "(Kelly) is an artist determined to find her own path. Yes, she’s an ingénue who’s come far in a short time. -Downbeat Magazine It feels very much like she’s conquered Montreal. Amazing Grace, indeed. - The Artery "What if I told you that the future of jazz, which many have pronounced dead or dying in the last two decades, rested in the hands of a 16-year-old Korean American saxophonist named Grace Kelly? ….I’ve heard the future of jazz and it is Grace Kelly.” ....David Was, NPR’s Day to Day "Jazz has had its share of prodigies over the years, as well as players — Miles Davis was one — who established their creative credentials while they were barely out of their teens …..few teenage horn players, and even fewer who are female, have drawn much attention in recent years. With the exception, that is, of Grace Kelly, a 15-year-old alto saxophonist and singer Grace Kelly. Grace plays with stunning maturity and an extraordinary command of her instrument.” ....Don Heckman, Special to The LA Times "I love this record…This young lady has bags of talent." ....Michael Jackson, Downbeat "Has she really got it?” …. the answer turns out to be, "Yes.” ....William Ruhlman, JazzTimes "What gave the evening a "star is born" dramatic tension was the playing of an amazing alto saxophonist, Grace Kelly.” ....Mike Drew, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Grace Kelly is still on. No mere flash in the pan, Grace Kelly is here to stay.” ....Ken Dryden, All About Jazz "To say that Kelly plays with maturity beyond her years is to make the understatement of the decade. She has a strong, bright, centered sound, great harmonic and melodic command, and time and technique to burn... Make no mistake; Ms. Kelly has got the goods.” ....Billy Kerr, Saxophone Journal"The jazz world has another great reason to celebrate with the arrival of Grace Kelly. Her talent makes her a triple threat as a brilliant saxophonist, a very gifted composer, and vocalist with great feeling. Her playing represents everything I love about jazz, swinging, imagination, and the blues." —Donald Brown

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone

Location

Los Angeles

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Credentials/Background

Skype Lessons I'm excited to now have SKYPE LESSONS available!! Besides performing and writing, my other love is teaching others. I have been all over teaching workshops for all levels including residencies at Berklee College of Music, Kennedy Center, festivals such as Montreux Festival, Lionel Hampton Jazz festivals and Universities all over the US and abroad. Along with that I also teach private lessons and very much enjoy diving in with a student and seeing what I can help with. Individual Private lessons are formatted for the level of the student and with the help of technology we can do it wherever, whenever. All levels are welcomed; you are also welcomed to gift others with a lesson as well. I'll be teaching lessons for saxophone, vocals and composition/small group arranging We'll cover topics and techniques for sound, improvisation, finding ones voice, repertoire, and creating a unique performance along with a lesson plan for individual needs. Please contact me on the site for pricing and scheduling. Contact Grace

Clinic/Workshop Information

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Phil Woods
saxophone, alto
David Sanborn
saxophone
Paul Desmond
saxophone, alto
Stan Getz
saxophone, tenor
Lee Konitz
saxophone, alto
Frank Morgan
saxophone, alto
Charlie Parker
saxophone, alto
Robert Kelly
producer

Photos

Concerts

Jul 26 Fri

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

At the Movies

Self Produced
2024

buy

Go Time Brooklyn

Self Produced
2020

buy

Working For The...

PAZZ Productions, LLC
2014

buy

Radio Ocean

From: Unpinnable Butterflies
By Grace Kelly

Videos

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