Lee Konitz Quartet with special guest Grace Kelly
Having studied saxophone since the age of ten, she is rapidly making her way up in the jazz music world. Grace's talents far outstrip others her age. Now just sixteen, Grace has already recorded and/or performed with many notable musicians: Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Dave Brubeck, Hank Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Morgan, Kenny Barron, Cedar Walton, Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland, Harry Connick, Jr., Russell Malone, Rufus Reid, Matt Wilson, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jerry Bergonzi, Terri Lyne Carrington, Dianne Reeves, Chris Potter, Adam Rogers, Christian Scott, Billy Hart, Winard Harper, George Cables, Ronnie Matthews, Ray Drummond, Peter Bernstein, and James Cotton, among others.
Grace has performed in many notable venues in the U.S., Europe and Asia such as Carnegie Hall, Rose Hall at JALC, Birdland, Dizzy's Club Cocoa Cola, Scullers Jazz Club, Regatta Bar, Dakota Jazz Club, Kennedy Center, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Detroit Jazz Festival, Blues Alley, Newport Blues Cafe, Boston Symphony Hall, Jazz Standard, Pabst Theater, 50th Grammy Awards (After party), Jazz Bakery, (LA) Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, (Kennedy Center),. Grace has performed as far away as Tromso, Norway, Salzau, Germany, and Seoul, Korea.
Media appearances include NPR "Day To Day" , NPR "Here and Now," NPR "Piano Jazz." "Chronicle" WGBH with Eric Jackson, XM Radio, WICN, KSFR, KCSM, ABC's WCVB-TV, CBS TV4, Fox 25 News, NECN, EBS Radio and EBS TV and numerous radio interviews. Featured in many magazines and newspapers in U.S., Europe and Asia such as: LA Times, Downbeat, Jazziz, Jazz Times, Jazztitek, Chosun Daily News, Boston Globe, Washington Post, and many others. Film: "Delta Rising" a Blues Documentary, including Willie Nelson, Morgan Freeman and others.
Grace appeared as special guest artist for two nights with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops 2007 Jazz Series. One of the selections Grace performed was her award winning composition "Every Road I Walked" which she also arranged for the entire Pops orchestra. It was her first arrangement for an orchestra and strings. Grace also performed with Diane Reeves and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Grace currently studies saxophone with Lee Konitz, Jerry Bergonzi, and Allan Chase. Grace is the youngest ever to complete the four year Jazz Studies certificate program at New England Conservatory Prep School. Grace also plays piano, soprano and tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute, and some drums. www.gracekellymusic.com
Born Grace Chung on May 15, 1992 in Wellesley, Massachusetts to Korean parents, Grace moved to Brookline, MA when she was two years old with her mother and sister after her parents divorced. Grace's mother married Robert Kelly in 1997 and a few years later Grace and her sister Christina were legally adopted by her stepfather and thus her name became Grace Kelly.
She began with classical piano training but soon changed to jazz because she had the propensity not to stick to the notes on the page but wanted to make up her own melodies. Grace wrote her first song "On My Way Home" at age seven. All public school students in Grace's hometown are required to choose an instrument and take a year of school-sponsored instruction in fourth grade, and Grace chose the clarinet. But this fourth-grader had already gotten hooked on another sound: the warm, almost-human voice of the saxophone. Her mom always loved [saxophonist] Stan Getz and would be playing him at home when they had Sunday brunch. Grace always wanted to play saxophone, but they didn't let you take it until fifth grade. So she started on clarinet. Grace couldn't wait until fifth grade, so halfway through fourth grade she started private lessons on the saxophone. When Grace was 12 she met Ann Hampton Callaway, a renowned cabaret artist, prodigious recording artist and award-winning songwriter. Seeing all that Grace had accomplished in those two short years, it is no wonder that when Ann Hampton Callaway met Grace she declared of Grace that "her sensitivity, control and focus as an alto saxophonist is impressive. When I played some songs of hers for the legendary drummer Victor Lewis [who has played with Duke Ellington, Stan Getz, and many more], he said, 'Wow, I love her sound.'"
Grace currently studies saxophone with Jerry Bergonzi, Lee Konitz, and Allan Chase. She also studies composition, arranging, flute, drums, and piano. Having participated in the certificate programs at both Brookline Music School and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Grace is the youngest ever to complete the four year Jazz Studies Certificate Program at New England Conservatory Prep School.
Grace plays the alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, some clarinet, flute, drums, bass and sings. The styles of music that intrigue Grace are many. Although jazz is her first love she embraces blues, funk, rock and contemporary styles. Some of the artists on Grace's nightstand are Paul Desmond, Joshua Redmond, Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Brad Meldau and Pat Metheny, Dave Brubeck, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billy Childs, Steve Wilson and Frank Morgan. Grace is also inspired by Ella, Sarah, Billy, Carmen McRae, Shirley Horn, Dianne Reeves, Ann Hampton Callaway, among others. Grace loves old movies and more recent romantic comedies. Some of her favorite actors are Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Orlando Bloom, Cary Grant, and of course Princess Grace Kelly.
What does the future hold for this emerging musical powerhouse? Grace says she hopes to become better and better at playing all her instruments and to do a lot more composing and arranging. "I just want to share my music with as many people as I can, hoping that my music gives them joy and pleasure." As Ann Hampton Callaway predicts, "There is no telling how far this child prodigy will go with the limitless possibilities of her voluminous talents. Grace is following her heart and that path is sure to lead her on a great adventure that all listeners, lucky enough to discover her, will relish."