Chilean musician Melissa Aldana has taken center stage as one of the most invigorating and talented saxophonist on the jazz scene today. At only 25 years old her star shines brightly. The daughter of the renowned Chilean sax player Enrique Aldana she is the first woman ever to win the Thelonius Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition.
By the age of 16 she was a headliner at Santiago clubs in Chile but after a week at the Village Vanguard in New York there was no doubt that there was a new face in town ready to take her place at the head of the sax table. She started out on alto sax but said that after hearing Sonny Rollins she was moved to switch to tenor.
– In June of 2014 she released her first CD, Melissa Aldana and the Crash Trio.
– On this video she appears with her trio at the Berkelee School of Music is 2013.
Perla Batalla is a Mexican-American artist from L.A. She was nominated for a Grammy in 2007 for her highly acclaimed CD Bird on the Wire. Palm Springs Women Jazz Festival welcomed her in 2014. She sings in both English and Spanish and mixes her own compositions with traditional Spanish language classics.
Check out her album Love is Everything where she is joined by jazz great Karen Hammock on piano.
In this video she sings a haunting version of the song “Dance Me to the End of Love” recorded in Barcelona.
Cindy Bradley performed at the 2014 Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival. She is one of the most recognizable female names in jazz today. She is a native of upstate New York and is a perennial favorite on the smooth jazz charts. She was voted the American Smooth Jazz Award Best New Artist in 2011. She played the piano as a child but said she had to choose another instrument in order to join the school band. She randomly picked the trumpet. There is nothing random about her music today. She is a favorite among festival goers and always manages to take it up a notch.
– Her recordings include, Bloom (2009), Unscripted (2011) and Bliss (2014).
– Here she performs at the Dubai International Jazz Festival.
Learn more at her official website: CindyBradley.com
Jane Bunnett, while she has been nominated twice for a Grammy for best Latin Jazz recording is not a household name on the U.S. music scene. She is, however, one of the foremost jazz musicians in Canada. She is a soprano saxophonist who has built a formidable jazz career around Cuban Music. She spent a summer in Cuba in the 80’s with her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer, which she said changed her life. While she has dedicated her career to Latin music she names U.S. jazz greats Charlie Mingus and Rahsaan Roland Kirk as the source of her musical inspiration.
Her latest CD is called Jane Bunnett + Maqueque, an all-female Cuban band. On this video she performs with the band Spirits of Havana at the Registry Theater in Kitchener, Ontario.
Terri Lyne Carrington
Grammy winner Terri Lyne Carrington was one of the artists to headline at the first year of the Palm Springs Women’s Jazz Festival in 2013. She was a musical prodigy who by the time she was 11 years old, had played professionally with jazz great Clark Terry and was attending the Berklee School of Music.
She has recorded 5 CD’s, one of which, Mosaic Project, won the Grammy for best jazz vocal album in 2012. She is considered by some to be the best drummer of this decade. Enjoy this clip from her performance at Zildjian’s American Drummer’s Achievement Awards.
Regina Carter is a violin virtuosa, it’s simple as that. She is a classically trained violinist who today is considered the master of the jazz violin. In 2001 She was invited to play a concert in Genoa, Italy using a 1743 violin that had belonged to Niccolo Paganini. In 2006 she was awarded a half-million dollar “genius grant” by the MacArthur Foundation. She is without a doubt “the real deal.”
She hails from Detroit and began playing the violin at 4 years old. She emerged on the jazz scene in the 80’s with the all-female quintet, Straight Ahead. By 1991 she had left the band and was living in New York working with R&B superstars Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige.
– In 1995 she recorded her first solo album called, Regina Carter. Her latest CD recorded in 2014 is Southern Comfort
– On this video she puts a jazz twist on the popular old school R&B hit Ain’t NoBody
THE CLARINET IS NO LONGER FOR SQUARES
According to a recent article in the New York Times, that old school favorite, the clarinet, is back and not since the days of Benny Goodman has there been so much to do about a clarinet player. Her name is Anat Cohen, an Israeli living in New York who is also a well known sax player. Ms. Cohen said she started out on tenor sax wanting to be like Coltrane but, “when I play the clarinet I am 100 percent myself.”
– She has recorded over 20 albums either solo, as co-leader or sideman projects.
– Hear her distinct sound on a haunting version of “Cry Me A River.”
Her official website is AnatCohen.com