Flutist and vocalist Elena Pinderhughes just finished her first semester at the Manhattan School of Music but has the resume of a seasoned veteran. Pinderhughes has wowed audiences all over the world, from the Monterey and Montreux Jazz Festivals, to Carnegie Hall and the White House. She has even appeared in an HBO special, The Music in Me, filmed when she was just 11 years old.
Hailing from Berkeley, California, Elena and her older brother, pianist Samora Pinderhughes, are poised to make a big splash in the New York scene. Elena’s performance on Thursday evening will be her second time performing on The Jazz Gallery stage—she sang and played flute with Kyle Poole’s Poole and the Gang last month—but her debut as a leader. To get to know her a little better, check out these YouTube videos.
Elena’s arrangement of the standard “Save Your Love for Me” shows both her Latin Jazz roots and a creeping influence of contemporary Hip-Hop and R&B. Fans of Esperanza Spalding and Gretchen Parlato should take note.
Saxophonist Howard Wiley has been one of Pinderhughes’s mentors in the Bay Area jazz community. Hear the two tangle on Thelonius Monk’s “I Mean You.”
Having to follow a blistering and expressive solo by trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire is something most musicians would prefer to avoid. Yet Pinderhughes is game and stakes her claim to a new aesthetic space over the same changes.
While Pinderhughes has only been in New York for a few months, she has quickly ingratiated herself with her talented and forward-thinking peers. She takes on R&B singer Miguel’s “Adorn” here, in a video produced by Candid Music Group, a studio and music production group founded by students and recent alums of the Manhattan School of Music.
Like what you hear? Come out to The Jazz Gallery on Thursday January 16 to catch this rising star in person.
The Elena Pinderhughes Group plays The Jazz Gallery on Thursday January 16, at 9 and 11 pm. The band features Elena Pinderhughes on flute and vocals, Lucas Pino on tenor sax, Ethan Phillbrick on cello and voice, Samora Pinderhughes on piano, Josh Crumbly on bass, and Jimmy MacBride on drums. $15 general admission and $10 for members (first set), $10 general admission and $5 for members (second set). Purchase tickets here.