Though only 25, jazz fusion saxophonist Grace Kelly has already hit more creative and commercial milestones than most established veterans. The Los Angeles by-way-of-Brookline saxophonist has created a sound and style heady enough to satisfy hard-core jazz fans while also providing enough pop and groove flair to appeal to a wider audience.
Featured by Vanity Fair as a millennial shaking up the jazz world, Kelly’s state-of-the-art brand of electro jazz-pop and inventive digital content are pushing her to the forefront of the fusion scene, alongside names like Snarky Puppy, Jacob Collier, Cory Henry, Robert Glasper, Jon Batiste, and Too Many Zooz. Via Facebook, Instagram, and her YouTube channel, the snackable “PopUp” video series combining soulful sax solos with unexpected and exotic locales has over 2 million views, further establishing her brand as an artistic veteran with a digital native’s flair for innovation.
Already known for defying genres with her award-winning music, Kelly is picking up steam by rewriting the rules of the performance experience. Her recent project, GO TiME: Brooklyn, brought a fully live, choreographed, electrifying show to the Systems 2 recording studio in New York City in front of a spellbound in-person audience and to thousands more globally over a Facebook Live broadcast The gutsy and dynamic re-imagining of music creation brought together Kelly’s phenomenal live audience chemistry with the intimacy and mystery of the recording studio and the community-igniting technology of Facebook Live.
As a teen, Kelly honed her bebop chops until she could comfortably share the stage and work alongside sax legends like Lee Konitz (her former teacher) and Phil Woods. Her compositional strengths do not take a backseat to her playing, however, as evidenced by her invitation to play her song at Symphony Hall with the Boston Pops. After graduating from Berklee School of Music at age 19 (she enrolled at 16), Kelly has begun to return the favor, leading residency workshops at her alma mater. She has now released nine records since her debut in 2005, all critically-acclaimed efforts that have explored different facets of her expanding artistry. In more recent years, Kelly has begun singing more in performances and on her records, adding another layer to her already beguiling mix of jazz and pop. In early 2016, this shift to infuse contemporary pop and R&B into her already precocious jazz chops came to fruition with the release of the acclaimed record Trying to Figure It Out, a record unafraid to wade in more mainstream pop waters.
Kelly, a multiple award winner as an alto sax player, winner of the 64th Annual 2016 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll as “Rising Star Alto Saxophone”, voted #4 Alto saxophonist in 2016 Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll, “Jazz Artist of the Year” 2016 Boston Music Awards, “Alto Saxophonist of the Year” by NYC Jazz Fans Decision 2016, has also drawn recognition as a singer and songwriter, having placed second in the 2017 International Songwriting Competition (Adult Contemporary category).
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WINDOW NOTICE: Due to the volume level of certain concerts, the curtain may be closed over the window for acoustical purposes. All efforts will be made to keep the view available prior to the concert.