"We Always Swing"® Jazz Series presents
Grace Kelly Quintet
Photo Credit courtesy of artist
The Jazz Series has always had one eye toward the future, considering such a component a keystone of its mission. It is with this in mind that welcome saxophonist/vocalist Grace Kelly, who is way more accomplished than any 20 year old should be. She and her youth-filled ensemble make their first Jazz Series appearance; in doing so, Ms. Kelly & Co. serve as this season’s MU’s Arts & Science Week “Signature Concert.”
It’s difficult to label someone just entering their third decade on planet earth as a “veteran,” but if such an exception were possible, then saxophonist/vocalist Kelly would be it. As from her measurable horn and singing skills, Kelly is also an accomplished lyricist, composer and arranger. People who have become aware of her prowess and all-around talent seem to fall into two groups: Those who marvel at her proficiency, creativity and ever-accelerating growth – and those who echo that sentiment after they have encountered the wunderkind.
It’s no wonder when you consider the post-teen, having toured the world since the age of 12, has already performed more than 500 concerts as a leader. Among those Kelly, who uses Boston as her base of operation, has impressed is Wynton Marsalis; so taken by her three-night stand as guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra that the celebrated trumpeter invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for President Barack Obama’s Inauguration Celebration. Since then, Kelly has been voted "Best Jazz Act” in Boston four consecutive years in the “FNX/Phoenix Best Music Poll”; received the ASCAP Foundation’s Young Jazz Composers Award in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011; and won "Jazz Artist of the Year” at the Boston Music Awards in both 2008 and 2010. For three years running – 2009-2011 – she won Downbeat Critics Poll as the "Alto Saxophone Rising Star” category – the youngest artist ever to be named in the poll.
Phil Woods has likewise embraced Kelly. In 2011 the two alto saxophonists released a co-led CD and last January at Lincoln Center they performed together at the NEA Jazz Masters Award Ceremony. As another NEA Jazz Master Jimmy Heath noted when asked about Kelly: “The future of our music is in good hands.” Come help us welcome Kelly and her quintet to the Jazz Series.
Audio and Video
Grace Kelly Quintet