Award-Winning Chilean Saxophonist Melissa Aldana to Perform at the Albright-Knox on April 21 for Art of Jazz Series

Melissa-Aldana-_EA0807011762_soz0rj04xiix_PROXYNext up in the Art of Jazz Series is a unique and extraordinary jazz artist.  The series will present the first-ever regional concert by the Chilean tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery on Saturday, April 21, at 8 pm.  Preceding the event, series producer Bruce Eaton will host a pre-concert discussion, “The Sound of Don Byas,” at 7 pm. Tickets are $29 and $24 for Albright-Knox Members and can be purchased at the Albright-Knox Admissions Desk or online at Early ticket purchases are highly recommended as Art of Jazz concerts frequently sell out well in advance of the concert date. 

Heralded by NPR as “a bold new talent,” tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana is the first female instrumentalist and first South American to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. Raised in a musical family in her native Chile (she is the daughter of the renowned tenor saxophonist Marcos Aldana) Aldana has undertaken a remarkable musical journey since leaving her home city of Santiago in 2007 to pursue jazz at the highest level in the United States. 

With a powerful, fluid sound that bears the spirit of her first inspiration, tenor great Sonny Rollins, Aldana weaves the unmistakable roots of her heritage into both striking original compositions and jazz classics in ways that signify her “essential voice . . . a very vital part of the present and future of our music” (producer Todd Barkan, NEA Jazz Master). 

The New York Times hailed her most recent album Back Home (Wommusic) as “a supremely focused statement” that “recalls the playful gallantry of a [Sonny] Rollins album like Way Out West from 1957.” As Aldana has noted, “It doesn’t matter where you’re from, anyone can swing.” 

Here is a video of Aldana performing “Elsewhere” in a recent concert that edifies her unique stylistic voicing and command of the tenor saxophone:

Aldana will be performing with her quartet featuring pianist Sam Harris, Chilean bassist Pablo Menares, and drummer Craig Weinrib.

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Now entering its eighteenth season as the most successful music series of its kind in Western New York history, the Art of Jazz Series has established the Albright-Knox Auditorium as one of the premier venues to experience live jazz in North America. This season also marks the return of founding producer Bruce Eaton, who helmed the series from 1999 to 2014.

Art of Jazz Series is produced by Bruce Eaton in association with Tony Zambito of JazzBuffalo and organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. It is supported by Hunt Real Estate.

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