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Melissa Aldana, Chile’s Ambassador of Jazz
The talented Chilean saxophonist Melissa Aldana, who settled in New York years ago, was recently nominated for the JJA Jazz Awards 2020 of the Association of Jazz Journalists for the category of “Tenor Saxophonist of the Year.” The winner will be announced later in May.
From a young age, Aldana displayed exceptional musical talent. She began playing saxophone at 7 years of age, and, at 15, she travelled to the United States to audition for the Berklee College of Music. This esteemed music academy not only accepted her but also granted her its significant Berklee Presidential Scholarship.
Melissa Aldana has earned acclaim as the great ambassador of Chilean Jazz in the world. Born to a family of musicians, this composer, improvisationist and band leader won the 2013 International Thelonious Monk Competition to become the first South American and first female musician to win the coveted recognition that opened doors to the North American market, with its prize of US$25,000 and a recording contract with Concord Records.
A little over a year ago, Aldana launched “Visions”, a new record inspired by the life and work of Frida Kahlo, available at digital platforms such as Spotify or Apple Music (https://melissaaldana.lnk.to/visionsIN).
In January 2020, she was nominated for the Grammy award in the category of “Best Improvised Jazz Solo” for “Elsewhere”, a song recorded live for her álbum “Sesc Jazz: Melissa Aldana Quartet” released in 2018, however, the gramophone statuette was awarded to trumpet player Randy Brecker of the United States.
In the present context, she is offering classes online through her Instagram account @melissaaldanasax. She has also given concerts through platforms such as @thejazzgallery on the same social network and participated in a panel discussion on Facebook Live held by @uchicagopresents.