If you’ve been tuned in to the jazz sphere recently, this probably isn’t the first you’ve heard of Aldana—just last week, Aldana was named the winner of the 2013 Thelonious Monk Competition, making her the first female instrumentalist to win the competition since it began in 1987 and also earning her $25,000 in scholarship money and a recording contract with Concord Music Group. The first project on her list, in fact, is recording the music of The Crash Trio, featured in her performance at the Gallery this week.
Hailing from Santiago, Chile, Aldana comes from a lineage of saxophonists: her father, Marcos Aldana, and her grandfather are both saxophonists, and the former even competed in the 1991 Thelonious Monk Competition. She came to Boston in 2006 to study at the Berklee College of Music on a Presidential Scholarship, establishing relationships with musicians in the city such as Joe Lovano, George Coleman, and George Garzone. It was here that Aldana also met saxophonist Greg Osby, who invited her to record on his label, Inner Circle Music, where she later recorded her début album Free Fall.
Since her move to New York City in 2009, Aldana has performed with the likes of Osby, Mela, Garzone, Benny Golson, and Antonio Sanchez. We welcome Aldana—and congratulate her on her monumental win last week—and The Crash Trio to our stage this Friday. For a preview of Aldana’s prowess as a saxophonist and bandleader, check out the footage of her performance at the Gallery earlier this year.
Melissa Aldana and The Crash Trio perform at The Jazz Gallery this Friday, September 27th, with Pablo Menares (bass) and Francisco Mela (drums). Sets at 9 and 10:30 p.m., $20 general admission and $10 for Members. Purchase tickets here.