Grace Kelly to present at DFJE Jazz Brunch

APR 22, 2012

Location: Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant
Time: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: $75

Photo credit: Grace Kelly

She’s only 19 years old but alto saxophonist/vocalist Grace Kelly is already a graduate of the Berklee College of Music where she now holds a teaching residency. On April 22, she will join other jazz supporters at The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education’s Jazz Brunch Fundraiser. Tickets are still available!

A veteran of international jazz festivals and club venues, with an amazing 7 recordings as leader to her credit, Grace has performed with Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Phil Woods, Harry Connick Jr., Esperanza Spalding, David Sanborn, and Toots Thielemans; received four ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composers Awards; and was the youngest to be named a “Rising Star—Alto Saxophone” by the DownBeat Critics Poll (2009-2011).

Raised in the Boston area, Grace enjoyed singing, dancing and songwriting from an early age. She started piano lessons at age 6, moved on to clarinet in fourth grade, and soon, inspired by recordings of Stan Getz and other great saxophonists, began private studies on the saxophone.

With encouragement from vocalist Ann Hampton Calloway and her middle school music teacher, she made her first recording at age 12. Through her early teens, Grace continued to perform and record, releasing Times Too in 2005 and Every Road I Walked in 2006, which led to her first ASCAP Foundation Award and an invitation to perform with the Boston Pops.  At 13 she began studies with the great Lee Konitz, with whom she recorded GRACEfulLee, listed on many Best of the Year lists for 2008. Mood Changes followed in 2009, and in 2011, she collaborated with another mentor, Phil Woods, on The Man With the Hat, leading to a European tour with Woods. Later in 2011, she released Grace, moving into the realm of gospel jazz. “Through music, I feel like I’m channeling spiritual energy that I hope passes on to people,” she says.

Grace Kelly first performed in the Twin Cities at the 2007 Hot Summer Jazz Festival. She will perform on the Dakota stage at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 22.

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