Kelly’s early career featured performances at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration at age 16 and at 14 as a soloist with the Boston Pops playing an original composition arranged for the legendary orchestra; she has since then played over 900 shows as bandleader in 35 countries at venues like the Kennedy Center and Moscow Symphony Hall and for the Montreal, Newport, and Montreux international jazz festivals. Touted for her scorching saxophone stylings and purring vocals, Kelly has performed and recorded with renowned artists including Lin Manuel- Miranda, Dave Brubeck, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Huey Lewis, Harry Connick Jr., Gloria Estefan, Questlove, and Wynton Marsalis.
Kelly was named the winner of “Song of the Year” for her single “Feels Like Home” in the 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and has been named nine times consecutively in the Annual Downbeat Magazines Critics Poll “Rising Star Alto Saxophone” from the age of 17 in 2009 and winning the poll in 2017 (Youngest ever named to Downbeat critics poll in 2009.). She has also won multiple ASCAP Composer Awards, Boston Music Awards, and International Songwriting Awards. She has also appeared as a featured performer in films and television, including acclaimed documentary “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story”, Amazon’s Emmy-nominated original series “Bosch”, and featured in the 2017 Emmy-winning Yamaha production “The Right Note”
Featured by Vanity Fair as a millennial shaking up the jazz world, Kelly’s state-of-the-art brand of electro jazz-pop and inventive digital content are pushing her to the forefront of the fusion scene, alongside names like Snarky Puppy, Jacob Collier, Cory Henry, Robert Glasper, Jon Batiste, and Too Many Zooz.
My new upcoming album “All That I Need” was inspired by the different emotions that embody the courageous spirit. I found myself on a journey thinking about what the courageous spirit feels and looks like to me. Kelly states, “I wanted to write an album that was fueled by the feeling of courage. Coming out of the pandemic, as an artist, I found myself battling the fear-based thought of: am I ever going to be able to do this thing that I love again for people? But I choose to be an optimist. To move forward with some type of courageous spirit. I always want to step into places that might feel scary or challenging in order to create an opportunity for both personal and artistic growth. That was the initial idea behind “All That I Need.”
The inspiration behind the album came in different forms – I found inspiration in the written words of the great poet and activist Maya Angelou. Her bold beautiful words in her poem “And Still I Rise” inspired Grace to write the track, “We Will Rise.” It is a song dedicated to women all around the globe, a song about pushing forward during challenging times and standing up together to advocate and fight for our rights.
Coming 2023, Grace’s next project inspired by Charlie Parker with Strings, will be “At The Movies: Grace Kelly with Strings” Grace will reimagine music from favorite classic and current movies with fresh arrangements and fully merges it into her young sound.
Aside from thrilling audiences in concert, Kelly’s stardom reaches the acclaim of her audiences online. The millennial artist has developed a new paradigm to exhibit her remarkable talent and unparalleled showmanship with the masses, curating an immersive user experience for her fans across multiple social media platforms. Kelly’s dedication to posting engaging content and offering insight into her daily life has deepened her brand, bringing thousands upon thousands of eager fans into her world and gaining millions of views online, allowing the artist to bridge the gap between virtuosic musician and cultural phenomenon.
Grace is a masterful clinician specializing in jazz improvisation and stage performance. She has taught thousands of students to become more confident performers and players both online and in-person. She is the co-founder of Saxy School, an innovative online saxophone school. Grace is the youngest member of the Board of Trustees of Berklee College of Music and has held a guest teaching residency at the college.
Grace Kelly is a Yamaha and Boston Sax Shop artist. She plays the 82Z Alto Saxophone and the YBS Baritone Sax along with the Vandoren Alto V16 A8 S+ mouthpiece, Boston Sax Shop Custom Alto Reeds 2.5 strength reeds, and Boston Sax Shop Superlative Alto Ligature.
For further information about Grace Kelly, visit her website at www.gracekellymusic.com, on Instagram at instagram.com/gkellymusic, on YouTube at www.youtube.com/gracekellymusic, on Facebook at facebook.com/GraceKellymusic, on or Twitter at @gracekellymusic
“[A] jazz innovator… Making jazz young” – BILLBOARD
“Kelly champions accessibility without sacrificing style.” VILLAGE VOICE
“…broad tone and tenacious flow on the alto saxophone, clearly in possession of virtuoso talents… impressive singing voice, flitting among a range of styles.” – NY Times
“Grace Kelly’s songwriting is as amazing as her voice. ‘Feels Like Home’ is just one example of how her gentleness and subtlety can command attention and evoke strong emotion.” – Aloe Blacc (Chart- topping Singer/Songwriter/Producer)
“Grace Kelly has an electric charisma onstage that instantly ignites the room”– Jon Batiste (Bandleader for ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)