Saxophonist Grace Kelly is in concert at 7 p.m. Friday, June 9 at the ABQ BioPark Zoo, 903 10th SW. Tickets are $10 general public, $5 seniors and $3 children in advance at http://www.holdmyticket.com or at the door.
By David Steinberg
True, Grace Kelly – a young saxophonist, singer, composer and arranger – is quite a busy young performer. But “busy” hardly describes Kelly. Better put, she pulsates with energy and spirit.
She possesses a joy of music and and joy of life.
Kelly just finished a monthlong tour of Europe where she performed in clubs, concert halls and music festivals with ensembles of various configurations. One of the highlights was a trio concert with Cameron Carpenter on digital organ and a drummer. They played tunes by George Gershwin and Cole Porter.
Completing the tour doesn’t means that Kelly has slowed down because she’s back home in the United States. On the contrary.
“Since I’m back from Europe I’ve been working on new songs and new arrangements,” the indefatigable Kelly said in a phone interview.
She’s also been preparing for an active summer schedule of concerts. They include a Friday, June 9 concert at the ABQBioPark that’s kicks off the summer-long Zoo Music series.
Kelly will be in Albuquerque with her quartet – drummer Ross Pederson, bassist/backup vocalist Julia Pederson and pianist Julian Pollack.
“They’re my dream team,” Kelly said. “Playing my music with the band is my favorite thing.”
The concert will find the group playing some of Kelly’s originals and maybe covers of Beatles and Coldplay tunes that she’s rearranged.
Th audience may also hear them performing “Blues for Harry Bosch,” a song she wrote and played on a episode last season of the Amazon Prime crime series “Bosch.”
The tune appeared on Kelly’s most recent album “Trying to Figure it Out.” And now, she said with suppressed excitement, the venerable vocal ensemble Manhattan Transfer is producing the song for its upcoming 45th anniversary CD.
Though primarily known as a jazz artist, Kelly knows no musical barriers.
For example, she wrote the anthem of female empowerment titled “She’s the First” in a straight-up pop style. The song, inspired by the nonprofit She’s the First, took second place (out of 30,000 entrants) in the International Songwriting Contest’s “Adult Contemporary” category.
“I’m working with a web series ‘Grace Kelly Popups.’ “It documents the cool places I’ve been with my horn. I did one pop-up riding gondola in Italy while playing ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow.’ I’ve racked up 1 million views on Facebook and YouTube. New videos come out every Thursday. The idea is people can travel with me and hear my music,” Kelly said.
She’s also been developing a web series called ‘Go with Grace Kelly” that has interviews with such famous musicians as Marcus Miller and David Sanborn.
Her most recent venture is the creation of an electronic dance duo with a clarinetist-friend. They’re headed to Los Angeles to work on the first music video for the venture.
For the duo Kelly is using the moniker GKellz.