2023 Levitt National Convening
Friday, February 24 at 1:30 p.m.
Sheraton Grand California Ballroom
An unequivocal musical prodigy, singer-saxophonist-songwriter-composer and band leader Grace Kelly has rocked the jazz world with sold-out concerts, 14 acclaimed albums and a resume that includes performing at the Hollywood Bowl and as part of the house band for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – all before reaching her mid-twenties.
Kelly’s early career featured performances at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration at age 16 and at 14 as a soloist with the Boston Pops playing an original composition arranged for the legendary orchestra; she has since then played over 900 shows as bandleader in 35 countries at venues like The Kennedy Center and Moscow Symphony Hall, and for the Montreal, Newport, and Montreux international jazz festivals. Touted for her scorching saxophone stylings and purring vocals, Kelly has performed and recorded with renowned artists including Lin Manuel-Miranda, Dave Brubeck, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Huey Lewis, Harry Connick Jr., Gloria Estefan, Questlove, and Wynton Marsalis.
Kelly was named the winner of “Song of the Year” for her single “Feels Like Home” in the 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and has been named nine times consecutively in the Annual Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll “Rising Star Alto Saxophone” from the age of 17 in 2009 to winning the poll in 2017; Kelly was the youngest ever named to the Downbeat critics poll in 2009. She has also won multiple ASCAP Composer Awards, Boston Music Awards, and International Songwriting Awards, and has appeared as a featured performer in films and television, including acclaimed documentary Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story, Amazon’s Emmy-nominated original series Bosch, and the 2017 Emmy-winning Yamaha production The Right Note.
Featured by Vanity Fair as a millennial shaking up the jazz world, Kelly’s award-winning brand of electro jazz-pop and inventive digital content are pushing her to the forefront of the fusion scene, alongside names like Snarky Puppy, Jacob Collier, Cory Henry, Robert Glasper, Jon Batiste, and Too Many Zooz. Coming in 2023, her next project, At The Movies: Grace Kelly with Strings, is inspired by Charlie Parker with Strings as Kelly will reimagine music from favorite classic and current movies with fresh arrangements fused with her young sound.
A masterful clinician specializing in jazz improvisation and stage performance, she has taught thousands of students to become more confident performers and players both online and in-person. She is the co-founder of Saxy School, an innovative online saxophone school. Kelly is the youngest member of the Board of Trustees of Berklee College of Music and has held a guest teaching residency at the college.