Jazz Phenom Grace Kelly Feb. 19

February 14th, 2010 by Adam

Young Artist is Described as a Startlingly Gifted Jazz Musician

Plymouth, N.H.—Jazz musician Grace Kelly imagined the sound she could get from a saxophone even before she held the instrument in the fifth grade. At age six Kelly found classical piano too constraining—she heard improvised phrases and licks in her head and translated them onto the keyboard. Clarinet followed for a year before her in-school music program allowed her to tackle the saxophone. At just 15, she was already being called “a startlingly gifted young jazz musician” by an LA Times writer.

Now 17 years old and with her own band, Kelly is on the road—with a stop at Plymouth State University. The Grace Kelly Quintet will perform in Hanaway Theatre at the Silver Center at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19.

Kelly is a versatile musician whose varied, original songs can include a pop or even folk flavor, according to one reviewer. Her expanding résumé includes live performances with notable musicians including Phil Woods, Marian McPartland, Harry Connick Jr., Ann Hampton Callaway, Dianne Reeves, Dave Brubeck and Wynton Marsalis.

Most remarkable about Kelly’s playing, according to reviewer Don Heckman, “is the maturity of her phrasing, her harmonic choices and her use of saxophone techniques that most players don’t achieve until they’ve been playing for decades.”

In addition to composing, singing and playing saxophone, Kelly plays piano, clarinet, flute, and some drums. She is also the youngest student ever to complete the four-year jazz studies certificate program at New England Conservatory Prep School.

Tickets for the Grace Kelly Quintet at Plymouth State University are $30-20 for adults, $28-18 for seniors and $20-10 for youth, at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS (2787) or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.

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