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Melissa Aldana 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

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Albums

Album Future Stride by Emmet Cohen

Future Stride

Mack Avenue Records
2021

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Album Balance Point by Art Hirahara

Balance Point

Posi-Tone Records
2020

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Album Artemis

Artemis

Blue Note
2020

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Album Visions by Melissa Aldana

Visions

Motéma Music
2019

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Album Back Home by Melissa Aldana

Back Home

Wommusic
2016

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Album Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio by Melissa Aldana

Melissa Aldana &...

Concord Music Group
2014

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