Born: May 15, 1992 Primary Instrument: Sax, alto
When it comes to saxophonist/vocalist/composer/lyricist/arranger Grace Kelly, people seem to be divided into two groups: those who marvel at her proficiency, creativity and ever-accelerating growth, and those who have yet to encounter the 16-year-old wunderkind.
The ranks of the former category are growing by the day. Trumpeter and Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis was so impressed with Kelly’s three-night stand as guest of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in November that he has invited her to join the ensemble at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C. for an Martin Luther King, Jr. Day/Inauguration Eve concert on January 19, to be broadcast live on CNN. Harry Connick, Jr. heard Kelly in a master class on a December afternoon and brought her on stage to sit in with his band that night. This capped an already exceptional end of 2008 in which Kelly’s appearance on NPR’s Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland was syndicated nationally, The Boston Music Awards declared her the city’s Outstanding Jazz Act, and local ABC affiliate WCVB-TV named her one of five Bostonians to Watch in 2009....
Awards:Grace began attending Berklee College of Music on full scholarship, at age 16, in Sept 2008.
Recipient of the 2008 Francis B. Lanier Award NEC Prep School (Youngest ever and first non-classical musician to receive the award.)
Recipient of the ASCAP Foundation 2008 Young Jazz Composers Award for the composition “101”
Recipient of the ASCAP Foundation 2007 Young Jazz Composers Award for the title track of “Every Road I Walked”
Performed at the 2007 ASCAP Foundation Annual Awards in New York."
Outstanding Jazz Act Of The Year" 2008 Boston Music Awards
Voted “Best Jazz Act” in Boston 2008 FNX/Phoenix Best Music
Poll Winner of four 2008 Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards, Jazz Instrumentalist, Jazz Vocalist, Extended Original Composition “101”, Arrangement, “I Want To Be Happy” Winner of 2007 Downbeat Student Music Award, Arrangement “Summertime” (Every Road I Walked)
Winner of four 2006 Downbeat Student Music Awards, Jazz Instrumentalist, Pop/Rock/Blues Instrumentalist, Original Composition--“Fast Metabolism” (Times Too), Jazz Vocalist--Outstanding Performance.
Recipient of the Berklee College of Music Superior Musicianship Award at 2007 Berklee High School Jazz Festival
Grace Kelly was the youngest ever winner of Fish Middleton Jazz Scholarship at the 2006 East Coast Jazz Festival. Winner of International Songwriting Competition ISC 2008 for her composition “101”
Winner of two International Songwriting Competitions in 2006 & 2007 for her composition “Filosophical Flying Fish” (Every Road I Walked)
Grace Kelly was judged the top woodwind soloist and the top vocal alto soloist at the 2007 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival
Grace Kelly plays with intelligence, wit and feeling. She has a great amount of natural ability and the ability to adapt that is the hallmark of a first-class jazz musician. --Wynton Marsalis
Ten years ago I was asked by someone where the new Bird was going to come from. I said, half-jokingly, that it might be a dwarf, Albino woman from Africa. Jazz seems to be floundering right now, and we don't have a clear-cut leader. Maybe Grace Kelly is the one. You never know. --Phil Woods
“Her voice is sweet and soulful, bridging the vocal traditions of jazz and pop music in an authentic, original way. Her sensitivity, control and focus as an alto saxophonist is impressive. What knocked me out in particular is her songwriting.” --Ann Hampton Callaway, New York City
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