Kelly’s early career featured performances at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration and as a soloist with the Boston Pops playing an original composition arranged for the legendary orchestra, both while still in her teens. She has since then played over 900 shows as a bandleader in 35 countries at venues like the Kennedy Center and Moscow Symphony Hall and at 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, Harry Connick Jr., Gloria Estefan, Questlove, and Wynton Marsalis.
Kelly’s original song “Feels Like Home” was named Song of the Year in the 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. At age 17, she was the youngest artist ever named in the DownBeat Magazine Critics Poll, winning as Rising Artist, Alto Saxophone nine consecutive times between 2009 and 2017. She has also appeared as a featured performer in films and television, including acclaimed documentary Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story, the Emmy-nominated original series Bosch and the 2017 Emmy Award winning Yamaha production The Right Note.
Featured by Vanity Fair as a millennial shaking up the jazz world, Kelly’s state-of-the-art 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.
Her latest album, 2022’s All That I Need, was inspired by the different emotions that embody the courageous spirit. Says Kelly: “I wanted to write an album that was fueled by the feeling of courage. Coming out of the pandemic, as an artist, I found myself battling the fear-based thought of: am I ever going to be able to do this thing that I love again for people? But I choose to be an optimist.”
Due out later this year, Grace’s next project is At The Movies: Grace Kelly with Strings on which Grace will reimagine music from favorite classic and current movies with fresh arrangements, fully merging it into her youthful sound.