Grace Kelly is the 15 year-old jazz saxophonist, singer, composer/arranger who is taking the music world by storm. This past weekend she performed with her quartet at the Detroit International Jazz Festival and wowed a large audience--myself included--with her technical skill, passion, professionalism and creative compositions. I'd seen Grace and her mother, Irene Chang Kelly, in the VIP section during Regina Carter and Kenny Barron's amazing performance on Sunday, so it was easy to spot Irene with her husband--Grace's adoptive father--in the third row center during their daughter's set. I mean, doesn't he just look like someone whose name would be Robert Kelly? It was fun to photograph them reacting to their daughter's marvelous performance before a VERY appreciative crowd. And then today, it was even more fun to create this composite using my old friend, Photoshop.
Just to give you an idea of why they call Grace Kelly a prodigy, she has now recorded three CDs, the first in 2005 when she must have just turned 13! And this winter she performed an original composition with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops. That night she also shared the stage with the legendary Dianne Reeves. When she told us about this experience, she said, "I worked very hard for weeks arranging my song for strings and the entire Boston Pops orchestra, but it was lots of fun!"
Oh yes, keep your eyes and ears open to see and hear where this young woman goes in the music world. The cliche, "The sky's the limit," is what comes to mind. To read more about her, you can visit http://www.gracekellymusic.com/bio.html.