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Melissa Aldana

On her first jazz quartet "Visions", award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophone player in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated by men. On her first jazz quartet recording, Aldana adds a new dimension to her sound, resulting in a transformative movement of expression and self-identity.

Aldana was born in Santiago, Chile. She began playing the saxophone when she was six, under the influence and tuition of her father Marcos Aldana, also a professional saxophonist. Aldana began with alto, influenced by artists such as Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley, and Michael Brecker. However, upon first hearing the music of Sonny Rollins, she switched to tenor; the first tenor saxophone she used was a Selmer Mark VI that had belonged to her grandfather.

She started performing in Santiago jazz clubs in her early teens. In 2005, after meeting him while he was on tour in Chile, she was invited by pianist Danilo Pérez to play at the Panama Jazz Festival, as well as a number of auditions at music schools in the USA. As a result of these introductions, she went on to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, where her tutors included Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Frank Tiberi, Greg Osby, Hal Crook, Bill Pierce, and Ralph Peterson

Aldana graduated from Berklee in 2009, relocating to New York City to study under George Coleman. She recorded her first album, Free Fall, released on Greg Osby's Inner Circle Music imprint in 2010. Her live shows in this period included performances at the Blue Note Jazz Club and the Monterey Jazz Festival, and her second album, Second Cycle, was released in 2012. In 2013, aged 24, she was the first female musician and the first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, in which her father had been a semi-finalist in 1991. The prize was a $25,000 scholarship, and a recording contract with Concord Jazz. Reporting her win, the Washington Post described Aldana as representing "a new sense of possibility and direction in jazz".

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3
Radio & Podcasts

Melissa Aldana, Dora Morelenbaum, Diana Arias, Gianmarco Ferri & More

Read "Melissa Aldana, Dora Morelenbaum, Diana Arias, Gianmarco Ferri & More" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


A playlist built along a Latin American trail that takes us from Chile to Colombia, Brazil and Argentina, with a couple of side trips to France and Italy. Happy listening! Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Melissa Aldana “The Solitary Seeker" Echoes of the Inner Prophet (Blue Note) 0:16 Host talks 6:17 Diana Arias “Desbaratá" Viaje Del Pez (ears&eyes) 7:29 Host talks 12:53 Dora Morelenbaum “Avermelhar" Vento De Beirada ...

23
Album Review

Melissa Aldana: Echoes Of The Inner Prophet

Read "Echoes Of The Inner Prophet" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Grammy-nominated saxophonist Melissa Aldana was all of maybe 21 going on 22 in 2010 when her Inner Circle Records arrival, Free Fall, caught many a discerning ear with its surprisingly earthy and assured lines and tangents. Her first for Blue Note, 2022's 12 Stars, displayed much the same but with a more resolute, restorative, established tone. As exhibited on such artistic statements as 12 Stars and 2019's Visions (Motema Music), Aldana relishes her sojourns and residencies in the ...

3
Radio & Podcasts

New Releases Plus Holiday Music, Birthday Shoutouts, Grammy Nominees & More

Read "New Releases Plus Holiday Music, Birthday Shoutouts, Grammy Nominees & More" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast begins the holidays with music of the season from John Paul McGee and Hendrik Meurkens new releases from Karen Hammack, The Airmen of Note, Russ Lorenson and Margot Sergent, more nods to Grammy nominees plus birthday shoutouts to Judy Carmichael, Rebecca Coupe Franks, Ethel Ennis, Sylvia Syms, Melissa Aldana, June Christy, Maria Schneider and Tina Turner, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by seeing them live and online. Purchase their music so ...

2
Radio & Podcasts

Live from the Village Vanguard

Read "Live from the Village Vanguard" reviewed by David Brown


I was at the Village Vanguard in NYC on Tuesday to hear Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana and her captivating quintet. With that experience in mind, tonight's lineup will showcase live recordings from this world-famous venue from Chucho Valdes to John Coltrane to The Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Orchestra. Then, works from Arturo and Chico O'Farrill and some new releases from Tim Berne and Ingrid Laubrock. Playlist Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, William Parker “Resolution" from Palm of ...

37
Album Review

NYO Jazz: We're Still Here

Read "We're Still Here" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The “NYO" in NYO Jazz is shorthand for National Youth Orchestra, a marvelous concept that should be cloned and shipped to as many cities, towns and villages as possible. NYO, comprising carefully chosen musicians, ages 16 to 19, from across the U.S.A. is based at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute in New York City, and We're Still Here marks its first full-length recording. The NYO's artistic director is trumpeter, composer and educator Sean Jones who is featured ...

15
Album Review

Melissa Aldana: 12 Stars

Read "12 Stars" reviewed by Chris May


Before we get into tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana's album--which is excellent, so hang on in there--a word about press releases and publicity campaigns. Specifically, those from Blue Note. The label's headquarters in Los Angeles is in danger of becoming known for award-winning b.s. in this regard, as demonstrated during the campaign for Aldana's label debut. Here is an example: 12 Stars, we are told, “grapples with concepts of childrearing, familial forgiveness, acceptance, and self-love." Given that there is ...

2
Radio & Podcasts

Melissa Aldana: Sound, Time, Ideas

Read "Melissa Aldana: Sound, Time, Ideas" reviewed by Leo Sidran


Melissa Aldana is meeting her moment right now. At 33 years old, she's already a quarter of a century into a musical trip that started in Santiago, Chile. Her father and grandfather were both jazz saxophone players in Chile, and she started early, at six years old, on the alto sax. She and her father would listen to Charlie Parker, and, as she tells it, try to understand the emotional content of the music.When a few years later ...

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1

Performance / Tour

World-Renowned Smoke Jazz Club Announces October Line-up Including The Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart Trio, Pianist Jacky Terrasson, Trombonist Steve Davis, Saxophonist Melissa Aldana, And More

World-Renowned Smoke  Jazz Club Announces October Line-up Including The Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart Trio, Pianist Jacky Terrasson, Trombonist Steve Davis, Saxophonist Melissa Aldana, And More

Source: AMT Public Relations

Rated the #1 Jazz Club in New York City (Secret NYC), Smoke Jazz Club welcomes a few of today’s leading Trios to the stage in October. For the first time in 30 years, the Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart Trio returns to SMOKE for a highly-anticipated, long overdue, four-night run (Oct 12-15). Pianist Jacky Terrasson makes a rare New York City appearance with his exciting trio with bassist Kenny Davis and drummer Alvester Garnett (Oct 19-22). The month ends with the master trombonist Steve ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Melissa Aldana's birthday today!

On her first jazz quartet “Visions", award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophonist in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Melissa Aldana's birthday today!

On her first jazz quartet “Visions", award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophonist in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Melissa Aldana's birthday today!

On her first jazz quartet “Visions", award-winning saxophonist Melissa Aldana connects her work to the legacy of Latina artists who have come before her, creating a pathway for her own expression. Inspired by the life and works of Frida Kahlo, Aldana creates a parallel between her experiences as a female saxophonist in a male-dominated community, and Kahlo’s experiences as a female visual artist working to assert herself in a landscape dominated ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Melissa Aldana's birthday today!

Saxophonist Melissa Aldana was born in 1988 in Santiago, Chile. At age 7 Melissa began music studies, specifically the saxophone, under her father Marco Aldana’s tutelage. Marcos is one of the first Chilean musicians to attain international recognition, was the first from that country, to participate in the Thelonious Monk Competition and to launch successful tours throughout the Americas and Europe... Read more.

Place our Musician of the Day widget on ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Jazz Musician of the Day: Melissa Aldana

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Melissa Aldana's birthday today!

Saxophonist Melissa Aldana was born in 1988 in Santiago, Chile. At age 7 Melissa began music studies, specifically the saxophone, under her father Marco Aldana’s tutelage. Marcos is one of the first Chilean musicians to attain international recognition, was the first from that country, to participate in the Thelonious Monk Competition and to launch successful tours throughout the Americas and Europe... Read more.

Place our Musician of the Day widget on ...

Music Industry

Jazz this week: Melissa Aldana Quartet, Ben Wendel's "The Seasons," Galactic, and more

Jazz this week: Melissa Aldana Quartet, Ben Wendel's "The Seasons," Galactic, and more

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features performances from two stellar saxophonists, one of New Orleans' favorite funk bands, and more. Let's go to the highlights... Wednesday, March 14 Saxophonist Melissa Aldana returns with her quartet for the first of four nights of performances at Jazz at the Bistro. Aldana, who was born in Chile and educated at Berklee, has enjoyed a fast rise in the jazz world since becoming the first female instrumentalist ...

1

Performance / Tour

Jazz this week: Melissa Aldana, Keri Johnsrud, Peter and Will Anderson, and more

Jazz this week: Melissa Aldana, Keri Johnsrud, Peter and Will Anderson, and more

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

Although this week's schedule of jazz and creative music is considerably less jam-packed than last week's, listeners still will have a chance to check out several intriguing young performers visiting St. Louis, plus an assortment of shows from various hometown favorites. Let's go to this highlights... Wednesday, April 27 Saxophonist Melissa Aldana makes her St. Louis debut with the first of four evenings of performances continuing though Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro Aldana, a 27-year-old native of Chile who ...

Video / DVD

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Introducing Melissa Aldana

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Introducing Melissa Aldana

Source: St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman

This week, let's check out some video performances featuring saxophonist Melissa Aldana, who will making her St. Louis debut starting next Wednesday, April 27 through Saturday, April 30 at Jazz at the Bistro A 27-year-old native of Santiago, Chile, Aldana began learning saxophone at age 6 from her father Marcos Aldana, a professional saxophonist in Chile. She started playing in local clubs as a teenager, and in 2005 met pianist Danilo Pérez, who was touring in Chile with saxophonist Wayne ...

Radio

AccuJazz Internet Radio Featuring Melissa Aldana, Other Recent Monk Contest Champs

AccuJazz Internet Radio Featuring Melissa Aldana, Other Recent Monk Contest Champs

Source: Lucas Gillan

AccuJazz Internet Radio is now featuring the music of Melissa Aldana along with other recent winners and finalists of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition on its Emerging Voices channel. The channel has always exclusively played music by the younger generation of musicians, so it is a perfect fit to feature musicians awarded in the contest, which is the jazz world’s highest honor for young jazz artists. As with all AccuJazz Internet Radio channels, Emerging Voices is free to ...

Oleksandr Kolosii
saxophone, tenor

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Echoes Of The Inner...

Blue Note Records
2024

buy

We’re Still Here

Self Produced
2022

buy

We're Still Here

Self Produced
2022

buy

Future Stride

Mack Avenue Records
2021

buy

12 Stars

Blue Note Records
2021

buy

Balance Point

Posi-Tone Records
2020

buy

La Madrina

From: Visions
By Melissa Aldana

Videos

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