Grace Kelly (musician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly
Kelly at East West Studios
Background information
Birth name Grace Chung
Born (1992-05-15) May 15, 1992 (age 24)
Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States
Origin Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Genres Jazz, Blues
Occupation(s) Musician, composer, singer, arranger, educator, singer-songwriter
Instruments Alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone, vocals, keyboard, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone
Years active 2004–present
Labels PAZZ Productions/Woodward Ave.

Grace Kelly (born Grace Chung; May 15, 1992)[1] is a musician, singer, entertainer, songwriter and arranger. Kelly has collaborated and recorded with many acclaimed musicians in various genres of music, produced and released recordings of her own. Kelly regularly tours with her band. She has scored soundtracks for films and appeared in documentaries. Among her many honors, Kelly was named one of Glamour magazine's Top 10 College Women in 2011;[2] and she has been featured on[3] and on the NPR radio shows Piano Jazz with both Marian McPartland and Jon Weber, as well as on WBGO's JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater.[4]

David Sanborn, Grace Kelly and Marcus Miller

Working professionally since she was a pre-teen, Kelly has been dubbed a prodigy in the jazz world.[3][5][6][7] In 2014, Kelly worked with the producer Stewart Levine on her EP, Working For The Dreamers which was released in September of that year.[8]

She was featured in the December 2015 issue of Vanity Fair as a notable millennial in the jazz world.[9]

In her eighth year in a row being named to the Downbeat Critics Poll, Kelly won the 2016 64th Annual Downbeat Critics Poll "Rising Star Alto Saxophone"[10]

Early life and education[edit]

Born Grace Chung in Wellesley, Massachusetts, to Korean parents, she moved to Brookline, Massachusetts, when she was two years old. Her mother remarried in 1997 to Robert Kelly, who legally adopted Grace a few years later, thus changing her name to Grace Kelly.[1] Kelly wrote her first song "On My Way Home" at age seven.[11]

Kelly left Brookline High School at age 16 and earned her GED. After studying in the Jazz Department of New England Conservatory of Music's School of Preparatory Education, she enrolled at Berklee College of Music, where she graduated in December 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Music at age 19.[12] Kelly studies or has studied saxophone with Jeremy Udden, James Merenda,[13] George Garzone, Lee Konitz, Greg Osby, Jerry Bergonzi, and Allan Chase.[1]


On March 15, 2005, when she was just 12, Kelly released her first CD, Dreaming.[14] While in the recording stages Kelly met Ann Hampton Callaway, a jazz cabaret singer who offered to write the liner notes to Grace's first CD.[1]


At age 14, Kelly appeared as special guest artist for two nights with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops 2007 Jazz Series. One of the selections Kelly performed was her award-winning composition "Every Road I Walked" which she also arranged for the entire Pops orchestra.[15]

The next year, Wynton Marsalis invited her to play with Dave Brubeck for the "Let Freedom Swing/Celebration Of America" concert held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts as part of the inaugural festivities for US President Barack Obama.[16]

In 2009, Kelly was selected by the Boston Celtics to play the National Anthem at the TD Garden for preseason and play-off games.[17]

For the Kennedy Center's 15th Annual Mary Lou Williams Women In Jazz Festival, in 2010, Kelly performed as part of an all-star quintet of Dee Dee Bridgewater, Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding for a set that celebrated the 100th anniversary of Mary Lou Williams's birth.[18]

In 2012, Grace was selected to perform at the 30th Annual NEA Jazz Masters Ceremony with Phil Woods and Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.[19]

She has performed in venues in the North America, South America, Europe and Asia including Carnegie Hall, Rose Hall at JALC, Birdland, Kennedy Center, Detroit Jazz Festival, Blues Alley, Newport Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Toronto Jazz Festival, Boston Symphony Hall, Jazz Standard, 50th Grammy Awards (After party), Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scotts, Duc des Lombard, Porgy & Bess.[15]


At 16, Kelly and NEA Jazz master Lee Konitz recorded the album, GRACEfulLEE. The album went on to garner a 4 1/2 star review from DownBeat magazine.[20]

At 18 she released her sixth album, Man with the Hat, recorded as a collaboration with another NEA Jazz Master, Phil Woods.[18] The title of the album honors Woods, who has had a signature leather cap as his trademark since 1976.[21] The title of the album also refers to when Woods invited Kelly, when she was 14 years old, on stage during one of his performances and presented her with his iconic leather cap as a gift after her solo on "I'll Remember April".[22]


Kelly's 2013 single "Sweet Sweet Baby", recorded for the Woodward Avenue Records label, reached #10 on the Billboard Smooth Jazz Singles Chart.[23] The track was also included on the label's 9 Mile Road compilation.[24]

Film and television[edit]

Kelly is a featured performer in the 2014 documentary film Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story, co-produced by author Michael Connelly and directed by N.C. Heikin.[25] In the documentary, she performs "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" as part of a tribute concert held in San Quentin State Prison, where the late Frank Morgan was incarcerated at different points in his life.[26] The documentary had its world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 14, 2014[27] and was followed the next day by a tribute concert at The Grammy Museum, featuring George Cables, Ron Carter, Mark Gross, Grace Kelly, and Roy McCurdy.[25][28] The documentary has been selected for multiple additional film festivals, including the 2014 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival,[29] the 2014 Maine International Film Festival,[30] the 2014 Virginia Film Festival,[31] the 2014 Atlanta Film Festival,[32] the 2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival,[33] and the 2015 Vancouver International Film Festival.[34] First theatrical release at the IFC Center in New York City on December 2, 2015.[26]

Kelly has performed many times with jazz musician Jon Batiste and his band Stay Human as the house band for the New York City-based late night television show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as well as at other New York City locations.[35][36][37]

Kelly released her tenth CD, Trying To Figure It Out on February 19, 2016 which includes the track "Blues For Harry Bosch", a composition written for the produced television series Bosch. In the second season of the series, Kelly is featured, playing the song in a scene filmed at the Catalina Jazz Club.[38]

Personal life[edit]


As leader[edit]

As sidewoman[edit]

With Terri Lyne Carrington

    • The Mosaic Project: Love and Soul (Concord/Universal, 2015)

With Vance Gilbert

With Bill Bandfield’s Jazz Urbane

With Bob Dorough

With Various Artists

Film credits[edit]

  • "The Bird Who Could Fly" (2017) Director: Raphael Sbarge, Writers: Robert Munic and Raphael Sbarge, Executive Producer: Grace Kelly, Composer: Grace Kelly [39]
  • Starcrossed (2015) Director: Chase Mohseni; starring Mischa Barton, Eric Roberts, Grant Harvey. Musical contributions by Kelly.
  • Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story (2014) Producer: James Egan; Director: NC Heikin documentary about alto saxophonist Frank Morgan and premiered at Los Angeles Film Festival in 2014. Executive produced and script by best selling novelist Michael Connelly. Interview and music performed by Kelly alongside Ron Carter, Ed Reed, George Cables, Delfeayo Marsalis, Marvin Smith, Mark Gross among others.
  • Delta Rising (2009) Directors: Michael Afendakis, Laura Bernieri; a blues documentary featuring Willie Nelson, Morgan Freeman and others. Performance by Kelly.
  • Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009) Director: Damien Chazelle. Musical contribution by Kelly.
  • Men in Green (2009) Producers: John Ippolito, Laura Bernieri (also Director); a behind-the-scenes documentary with the legends of the Boston Celtics hosted by Satch Sanders. Film score composed and performed by Kelly.


  1. ^ a b c d "Grace Kelly". Jazz at Lincoln Center. 
  2. ^ Struhl, Jessica (7 September 2011). "Top Ten College Women: The Musician". Glamour. Archived from the original on October 26, 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Leopold, Todd (12 February 2012). "The making of a prodigy". Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  4. ^ "Grace Kelly on NPR". 
  5. ^ Was, David. "The New Grace Kelly, A Young Jazz Star". NPR. 
  6. ^ Williamson, Don. "GRACEfulLEE by Grace Kelly & Lee Konitz". Jazz Review. 
  7. ^ Fischer, Doug. "Grace Kelly in the NAC Fourth Stage (concert review by Doug Fischer)". Ottawa Citizen. 
  8. ^ Duckett, Richard. "Grace Kelly offers fresh take on jazz for a new generation". Worcester Telegram. Gatehouse Media. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  9. ^ Friedwald, Will. "These Millennials Are Shaking Up the Jazz World". Vanity Fair. Condé Nast. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  10. ^ Lutz, Phillip (Aug 2016). "Grace Kelly Jazz Is A Mixable Genre". Downbeat Magazine. 
  11. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Grace Kelly". AllMusic. 
  12. ^ Goodwin, Jeremy. "Grace Kelly Is Figuring It Out On The Fly". WBUR FM. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  13. ^ "14-Year-Old Sax Prodigy Grace Kelly Set for Stardom". Sibelius. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "Grace Kelly - Dreaming: product details". Amazon. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  15. ^ a b "Grace Kelly". The Boston Phoenix. 
  16. ^ Beverelli, Luigi (January 22, 2009). "Jazz at Lincoln Center: Let Freedom Swing! A Celebration of America". Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Grace Kelly performs National Anthem at Boston Celtics 2009 playoff game.". Grace Kelly Music. 
  18. ^ a b Pulliam, Becca. "Mary Lou Williams Festival All-Star Quintet On JazzSet". National Public Radio. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  19. ^ "National Endowment for the Arts Celebrates 30th Anniversary of NEA Jazz Masters Program with Special Performances". 
  20. ^ "DownBeat Best CDs of The 2000s" (PDF). DownBeat Magazine. 
  21. ^ Koert, Hans. "Grace Kelly - Phil Woods - Man With The Hat". Blogger. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  22. ^ McClenaghan, Glenn. "Grace Kelly: Every Road I Walked". 
  23. ^ a b "Billboard Smooth Jazz Chart for 3/11 to 4/8/2013". Billboard. 13 April 2013. 
  24. ^ Black, Brent. "9 Mile Road. Woodward Ave. 2013". Bop-N-Jazz. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  25. ^ a b Peck, Claude (4 December 2013). "Bestseller Michael Connelly Making Frank Morgan Jazz Biopic". Star Tribune. 
  26. ^ a b Scherstul, Alan. "Sax Great Frank Morgan Soars and Scores in the Moving Musical Doc 'Sound of Redemption'". Village Voice. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  27. ^ Easterhouse, Jim. "'The Frank Morgan Story' sounds like a fine fit at L.A. Film Festival". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  28. ^ "News About Sound of Redemption". Retrieved 7 January 2016. Los Angeles Film Festival....June 14 – World Premiere Screening, 6:50pm, Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live...June 15 – Frank Morgan Tribute Concert at the Grammy Museum, 2-4pm 
  29. ^ "Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story". Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  30. ^ "Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story". Maine International Film Festival. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  31. ^ "Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story". Virginia Film Festival. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  32. ^ "Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story". Atlanta Film Festival. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  33. ^ "Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story". Palm Springs International Film Festival. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  34. ^ "Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story". Vancouver International Film Festival. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  35. ^ "Grace Kelly @ The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in New York, NY". Retrieved 7 January 2016. Fri Dec 18 2015 at 05:00 pm 
  36. ^ "excited to join Jon Batiste and Stay Human on Late night w Ste...". 7 December 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  37. ^ "Jon Batiste and Stay Human with special guests Grace Kelly and Brandon Niederauer at Webster Hall NY". YouTube. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  38. ^ Cummings-Grady, Mackenzie. "Brookline sax player Grace Kelly ready for close-up". Boston Globe Media Partners. Retrieved 23 September 2015. 
  39. ^

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]