Renowned for her unparalleled musical talents, Grace Kelly is set to take center stage at The Stationery Factory in Dalton on Friday, September 29th. While often referred to as a saxophonist, Kelly’s artistry transcends the boundaries of conventional musical genres, making her an all-encompassing entertainer and educator who incorporates the saxophone into her mesmerizing performances.
Having honed her craft at Berklee and mentored by luminaries like Phil Woods, Kelly’s roots lie in jazz. Yet, her musical repertoire extends far beyond the boundaries of jazz, with her original compositions and singing leaning more towards the pop genre. Her live shows reveal a profound affinity for R&B and soul, a testament to her versatility as a musician. In terms of vocal stylings, Kelly shares more common ground with contemporary artists like Alicia Keys than with jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald.
Kelly’s primary instrument is the alto saxophone, an instrument she wields with unparalleled expressiveness. However, it’s when she picks up the baritone saxophone that her passion for R&B truly comes to life. Fueled, no doubt, by her collaborative efforts with Leo P, her teaching and busking partner, Kelly revels in the baritone saxophone’s role as a progenitor of funky soul music.
For those familiar with the likes of Sam & Dave, the connection between certain dance moves and saxophones is undeniable. Kelly has undoubtedly done her homework in this department. Her dancing is well-rehearsed yet spontaneous, a reflection of her boundless enthusiasm for her craft. In every performance, Kelly’s passion bursts forth in real-time, captivating her audience. Her dancing is a prominent element of her stage presence and contributes significantly to her unforgettable performances. Late Show bandleader Jon Batiste aptly described her as possessing “an electric charisma onstage that instantly ignites the room.”
Local jazz enthusiasts may recall Kelly’s appearance at the tender age of 14 during the 2006 Pittsfield CityJazz Festival. She graced the stage alongside her late mentor, the legendary alto saxophonist, clarinetist, bandleader, and composer, Phil Woods.
Not content with merely playing, Kelly is equally passionate about teaching the saxophone. She has joined forces with Leo Pellegrino to create instructional videos, comprising an eight-hour course that spans from fundamental techniques to advanced skills. They promise to empower aspiring entertainers to leave a lasting impression at rehearsals and shows—a claim substantiated by the multitude of videos available on Grace’s YouTube channel.
Moreover, Kelly thrives on connecting with her fans through live-streamed YouTube events like the Sunny Sundays Live series. During these sessions, she engages with her audience, answering questions, playing requests, and fostering a sense of community among her devoted followers.
Grace Kelly’s upcoming performance at The Stationery Factory promises to be an unforgettable musical journey, combining saxophone virtuosity, vocal prowess, and captivating dance moves. For those fortunate enough to attend, it’s a night that will surely be etched in their memories.