As Grace Kelly defiantly reminds us on “The Other One,” a standout number from her album Trying To Figure It Out, she’s not looking to be like anyone else. “Got my own thing,” she sings over the song’s urban, trancelike groove. Although the singer and saxophone player has been acclaimed by critics and audiences alike as a jazz musician, the track’s exhilarating chorus, haunting keyboard hook and brittle electro edge show an artist interested only in playing what she loves labels be damned.
The Wellesley, Massachusetts born artist, 23, is a seven-time winner of the Downbeat critics poll (as a rising star in the alto sax category). She recorded her first album, Dreaming, when she was 12. At 14, she received the first of her ASCAP Foundation awards for her composition “Every Road I Walked” and was invited to perform with the Boston Pops. For the occasion, she wrote her first full orchestral arrangement, adapting the award winning piece. In 2009, Kelly guested with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as part of the events surrounding Barack Obama’s inauguration celebration at the request of the ensemble’s director, Wynton Marsalis.