February 3, 2018, 4:30 pm at Center Stage, 1374 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA
o All Ages Welcome
o Assigned, reserved seating
o Tickets available online via Ticketmaster.com or without ticket fees in person at the Center Stage Box Office, M-F, 11-6. Online sales end at 5pm on day of show.
As Grace Kelly defiantly reminds us on The Other One, a standout number from her upcoming 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 Centre Orchestra as part of the events surrounding Barack Obama's inauguration celebration at the request of the ensemble's director, Wynton Marsalis. In Dec 2015 Jon Batiste snagged Grace as a regular on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert's band, Stay Human, playing multiple reeds and singing. Among Kelly's critically acclaimed releases are collaborations with jazz legends Lee Konitz (GRACEfulLEE, 2008) and Phil Woods (The Man With the Hat, 2011). The disc with Konitz ended up in Downbeat's Best Albums of the 2000s issue. A graduate from the Berklee College of Music in 2011, with a degree in professional music, Kelly has taught residency workshops there since 2012. That year also brought another important opportunity to pass on her musical knowledge: the U.S. State Department sent her on an international speakers tour to be an ambassador of jazz and educate the people of Madagascar and the Comoros Islands about the music. Trying To Figure It Out, due in February 2016, is Kelly's eighth studio disc. Expanding on her longstanding interest in genre-bending, while maintaining a jazz foundation, the album finds her once again following a restless artistic spirit. In her words, the new work explores "the world of jazz and beyond." Fittingly, the album's musical setting shifts from acoustic, conventional jazz (as typified by her touching version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, a live favourite) to a genrebending approach, with more contemporary production values. Maintaining a busy tour schedule with her group, Kelly has drawn critical praise and new fans every year with headlining over 700 shows in 30 coutries at all major jazz festivals, from Montreux to Newport to Montreal. Awards continue to come. But Kelly says she has never lost sight of a larger picture. "I think everybody comes to life with a calling," Kelly says. "I've been super blessed that my calling in life has been music and that I found it from an early age. But what I really hope my music brings to people is healing. There's nothing that makes me feel better than when somebody, after a show, says `You lifted me up.'" Is it the main reason she plays? Her response comes without hesitation: "It's the only reason."
Jazziz magazine writes that Nelson Rangell is "an artist of depth, a master of song, and an improviser non pareil." The Times of London notes "his extraordinary facility on a range of instruments and his undoubted virtuosity," adding that Nelson is "one of fusion's most accomplished exponents." Such praise is a confirmation of what contemporary jazz fans have known since the Denver based saxophonist emerged in the late 80s: that Rangell is one of the most exciting and diverse performers in the genre, equally adept at soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, as well as being a genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo.
Rangell is the fourth child in a musical family. His brother, Andrew, is a well known concert pianist living in Boston; his brother, Bobby, lives in Paris and is a leading woodwind player in European jazz and studio scenes. His sister, Paula, is a professional singer living in New Orleans.
Rangell first played flute at the age of 15. Within six months he was studying both classical and jazz music at The Interlochen Arts Academy, a national camp for gifted music students. He went on to attend The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. As a student he twice won Down Beat Magazine's prestigious National Student Recording Awards competition both as best jazz and best pop/rock instrumental soloist. After college he headed to New York in 1984 to pursue his career.
The next four years were spent "paying dues", sitting in, playing alongside, and gigging with some of the world's greatest contemporary jazz musicians including Hiram Bullock, Jorge Dalto, Eric Gale, Richard Tee, Jaco Pastorius, David Sanborn and many others. He also found occasional employment with the legendary Gil Evans Monday Night Orchestra and worked on many commercial jingle recording sessions. Rangell's 1987 debut album was released on Gaia/Gramavision Records, but soon thereafter he was signed by Larry Rosen and Dave Grusin at GRP Records.
A succession of albums followed at GRP where he recorded eight CDs, beginning in 1989. His stated ambition throughout these endeavors has been "to grow and evolve as a player and artist while making music that people can easily relate to in a form that is substantive." With his musical armory encompassing flute, piccolo, alto, tenor and soprano saxophone as well as whistling, he was well equipped to fulfill this desire. He has recorded with The Rippingtons, Chuck Loeb, Patti Austin, Tom Browne, and The GRP All Star Big Band to name a few and is featured on Don Grusin's Grammy nominated CD "The Hang." Though Rangell has recorded mostly in the contemporary/pop and smooth jazz formats garnering top radio play and a large audience, The Times of London notes "heard live a much more robust and idiosyncratic player emerges." In the late 90s Rangell continued his career with Shanachie Records and has now released 14 CDs nationally and internationally.
Now with Koch Records, Nelson Rangell has recorded 3 wonderful and wide ranging CDs within 18 months. His first Christmas CD "All I Hope For Christmas" has been critically well received and has been called "an instant holiday classic" by Jazzreview.com. Rangell followed this with "My American Songbook" a collection of fresh arrangements of classic compositions by American composers. It is Rangell's most explorative and unique recording delving into Nelson's jazz roots and eclectic musical influences.
Nelson Rangell's newest CD is titled "Soul To Souls" released April 4 of 2006. It is an exciting return to Rangell's past contemporary jazz recordings like Destiny, Truest Heart and Always. The disc continues to highlight Rangell's formidable abilities and improvisational skill on many different instruments throughout the 10 compositions on the recording from tenor saxophone to piccolo. The CD features exciting performances from virtuoso guest artists Earl Klugh, Chuck Loeb, Brian Bromberg and pianist Vlad Girshevich. Rangell has recorded some of his favorite contemporary jazz pieces like Joe Sample's "Free As The Wind" and Earl Klugh's Vonetta as well as a contemporary arrangement of Dizzy Gillepie's classic "A Night In Tunisia". The disc also features 5 originals from the urban groove "City Lights" and uplifting "When I Saw You" to a new and expansive composition from Rangell and long time writing partner Kip Kuepper titled "The World View". " I'm extremely happy to present Soul To Souls and feel my fans and new listeners will enjoy this CD amongst the top of my recordings." says Rangell. I think the tunes on the disc are all easy to listen to and enjoy but also feature truly energetic and challenging soloing as well. I enjoy the CDs production artistically, and feel the honesty and strength of the performances still come through very clearly. It's one of my favorite recordings. I read once that "the way into another's heart is through your own." I can say Soul to Souls is genuinely that type of effort and communication for me."
Soul To Souls is a heartfelt recording with powerful performances throughout the disc and strongly continues Nelson Rangell's path of growth and evolvement as an artist.