, Salem, MA


December 12, 2013

A Graceful celebration at Temple Sinai

Temple Sinai in Marblehead is celebrating its 60th anniversary, but they aren’t tooting their own horn.

Instead, saxophone prodigy Grace Kelly will blow her horn at a concert and celebration at the temple this Saturday.

Kelly, who grew up in Brookline, graduated from Berklee College of Music at age 19.

“My parents always played a lot of Stan Getz, and he’s one of my favorites,” Kelly said. “I played classical music at 6, but I hated practicing and reading notes on the page.”

She experimented with playing different instruments as she went through school.

“In fourth grade I played clarinet at school, because they let you pick out an instrument,” she said. “But something in my heart said, ‘You should try saxophone.’”

“I think the thing I can relate to is, the sound to me is similar to the human voice. It’s warm,” she said. “The sound is what attracted me to it, then learning improvisation and using it as a tool of expression.”

Kelly has played sax with musicians like Wynton Marsalis, Harry Connick Jr. and James Cotton, and has recorded nine albums. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, the Kennedy Center, Tanglewood, and the Newport Jazz Festival, and tours in Europe regularly.

She was also voted Best Jazz Act in Boston for four consecutive years.

Six months ago Kelly moved to Los Angeles, where she is working with producer Stewart Levine.

“It’s a really healthy scene, with great musicianship and versatile musicians,” Kelly said. “There’s lots of recording going on. Everyone in L.A. is in the entertainment business, and that in itself helps me grow.”

Kelly is also an accomplished singer and has been writing her own songs since she was 7.

“Right now it’s a mix of songwriting, but still with improvisation mixed in,” she said. “I’m leaning toward a crossover sound with more grooves, but I’m coming from my roots, where I’ve grown up.

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