Seventeen-year-old alto saxophonist, singer, composer, arranger, and phenom, Grace Kelly, is performing tonight for the first time in Canada. She and her quintet will be taking the stage at the Rex on Queen Street, at 9:30.
Kelly, who has been playing saxophone for all of 7 years, is in her 2nd year of jazz studies at Berklee. According to her website, she is currently studying saxophone with Jerry Bergonzi, Lee Konitz, and Allan Chase.
When she was 6, Kelly started classical piano lessons, but when she heard Stan Getz, she knew the saxophone was her instrument. In an interview she gave the Toronto Star she said:
Six weeks after picking it up I had my first performance, playing `My Funny Valentine’ at a Borders book shop. I couldn’t really hold the saxophone, so I put my case on the floor, I sat on the case and rested the saxophone on a pillow and played it like that sitting down.
To get an idea how far she’s come in 7 years, and to get an idea of who she’s played with, check out this video…
Kelly has just released her 5th album, which is titled Mood Changes. Her tour schedule shows her booked for festivals this summer and fall in places such as: Latvia, France, Finland, Serbia, South Korea, Belize, Mexico, and the Slovak Republic.
Grace Kelly is certainly not your typical 17 year old. In fact, 3 years ago, Doug Ramsey already had the following to say about this young, rising, jazz star:
I know of no explanation other than genius for this slender fourteen-year-old girl’s attainment of maturity in her art. She has mastery of the instrument, passion, profound swing, and judgment that one would expect in a player with twenty years of professional experience.
All I can say to all of this is: You go girl!