“Grace Kelly has an electric charisma onstage that instantly ignites the room,” says Stay Human bandleader Jon Batiste. Featured in the 2017 Emmy-winning Yamaha production “The Right Note”, singer, saxophonist, and songwriter/composer Grace Kelly plays with the heart and passion of an old soul yet with the genre-bending zest and energy of a 26-year-old. The 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize winner (country genre) has appeared regularly in the house band for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert under Jon Batiste and was highlighted on screen as a jazz soloist in the Emmy-nominated Amazon series BOSCH (S2E2).
Featured by Vanity Fair as a millennial shaking up the jazz world, Kelly is picking up steam by rewriting the rules of the performance experience. Her recent project, GO TiME: Brooklyn, brought a fully live, choreographed, electrifying show to the Systems 2 recording studio in New York City in front of a spellbound in-person audience and to thousands more globally over a Facebook Live broadcast. Fans have responded in droves, with over 100,000 views on the video and thousands of positive comments and shares. Via Facebook, Instagram, and her Youtube channel, the snackable “PopUp” video series combining soulful sax solos with unexpected and exotic locales has millions of views, further establishing her brand as an artistic veteran with a digital native’s flair for innovation.
As a songwriter, Kelly has won multiple ASCAP Composer Awards, Boston Music Awards, and International Songwriting Awards, including placing second in the 2017 International Songwriting Competition (Adult Contemporary category). Her original composition “Blues for Harry Bosch” was recorded by the legendary vocal group Manhattan Transfer on their album “The Junction.” As a saxophonist, she was the winner of the 64th Annual 2016 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll in the category “Rising Star – Alto Saxophone,” voted #4 Alto saxophonist in 2016 Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll, named “Jazz Artist of the Year” in the 2016 Boston Music Awards, and “Alto Saxophonist of the Year” by NYC Jazz Fans Decision 2016. She has been featured on CNN.com, Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women 2011, Forbes, Billboard, Huffington Post, and many appearances on NPR.
Kelly wrote her first song at 7 years old, recorded her first CD at 12, orchestrated and performed an original composition with the Boston Pops Orchestra at 14, and performed at President Obama’s inauguration at 16. As a bandleader, Grace has performed in over 800 concerts in over 30 countries at notable venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall, and international jazz festivals such as Montreal, Newport, and Montreux. Grace has performed and/or recorded with Questlove, Lin Manuel Miranda, Esperanza Spalding, Harry Connick Jr, Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph, Emma Stone, Huey Lewis and Gloria Estefan, to name a few.