The Pace Report: "Hat Skills" The Grace Kelly Interview

Vocalist and alto saxophonist Grace Kelly’s latest Pazz Productions release “Man With The Hat” features the legendary NEA Jazz Master Phil Woods. Woods, an alto sax disciple of Charlie Parker, Art Pepper, and Lee Konitz, passes the baton to the young Kelly who’s on her way to carrying on the torch in jazz music’s rich legacy. The disc features two vocals in which she covers composer Benny Carter’s “People Time” and her original ballad “Gone.” Woods performs on four of the tracks on the disc and also features pianist Monty Alexander.
Kelly met Woods at the Stanford Jazz Residency Program where she was a student at age 14. Phil served as an instructor and saw she had a maturity beyond her years. The two reunited a couple months later when he played a gig in Pittsfield, Massachusetts just short of her hometown of Berkshire. The two would connect and eventually began a mentorship/friendship over the years.

Born May 15th, 1992, Grace Kelly was bitten by the jazz bug when she overheard her parents playing tenor saxophonist Stan Getz in the house. During grade school she took up clarinet but she began taking saxophone and piano lessons. At the same time,she also became interested in Broadway musicals and envisioned herself singing, which she performs during her sets currently.
By the time she was 14,Grace was developing a buzz and playing and studying with such jazz luminaries like Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Frank Morgan, Harry Connick, Jr., Lee Konitz (whom she recorded her fourth disc), and Ann Hampton Callaway.

Currently Grace is completing her last year at Berklee College of Music in Boston and is on tour with Phil Woods. To order her latest disc or to find out upcoming tour dates visit her online at www.gracekellymusic.com

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