Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

Feb. 19 - 24 | See the schedule and read about the artists who will be performing at the 2014 Jazz Festival. More

Contact & Locations

Moscow

College of
Letters, Arts & Social Sciences

Physical Address:
Admin. Bldg. 112
phone: (208) 885-6426
fax: (208) 885-8964
class@uidaho.edu

Mailing Address:
College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences 
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3154
Moscow, ID 83844-3154


Coeur d'Alene

University of Idaho C'DA‎
1031 N Academic Way
Coeur d'Alene, ID
83814-5497 
(208) 667-2588


College of
Letters, Arts & Social Sciences
University of Idaho
Admin. Bldg. 112
P.O. Box 443154
Moscow, ID 83844-3154
phone: (208) 885-6426
fax: (208) 885-8964

class@uidaho.edu

Jazz Musician Comes Full Circle: From Student to Performer

Grace KellyBy Amanda Cairo

At only 20 years old, Grace Kelly has infused herself in the jazz world as a standout artist and performed on major stages around the world. But only seven years ago, the Massachusetts native was gaining notice as a student on the very same stage she’ll be performing as a featured artist at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival this year.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of a festival that brings so many students and musicians together,” says Kelly. “I’m thankful to be asked back, and I look forward to seeing old friends and new performers.”

The accomplished singer, saxophonist, composer, lyricist, arranger, producer and educator, travelled across the country as a participant for the 2007 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. She’d heard good stories about the festival and wanted to be a part of it.

That year she was named top saxophonist and vocalist. Her performance made an impression on festival artistic director John Clayton, and he invited her to return as a performer in 2008. She’s back again this year performing in a greater capacity and is excited to work with students and conduct workshops.

“It’s a wonderful festival that provides great opportunity for soloists,” says Kelly. “I’m really looking forward to connecting with students during the workshops and reaching them on a different level.”

Since Kelly graced the stage at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, she has earned many awards and honors. She was voted "Best Jazz Act ” in Boston four consecutive years in the FNX/Phoenix Best Music Poll and voted “Best National Jazz Act” in 2012. She received the ASCAP Foundation’s Young Jazz Composers Award in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013 and won "Jazz Artist of the Year at the Boston Music Awards in both 2008 and 2010. The Downbeat Critics Poll added her to the list of “Alto Saxophone Rising Stars,” the youngest artist ever to be named to the music poll, every year from 2009 through 2012.

While she was already winning awards, performing in front of large audiences and recording music prior to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Kelly made new connections at the festival and has gone on to record CDs with many of the performers in this year’s line up. She is looking forward to reconnecting with artists and meeting new ones, especially Benny Golson.

“He’s definitely someone I admire and am thrilled to get the chance to meet him and work with him,” says Kelly. “I’ve met a lot of good mentors over the years and many of them will be at the festival.”

As Kelly looks forward to working with Golson, UI’s Vern Sielert, associate professor of trumpet and director of jazz studies, is prepping his Jazz Band 1 students for a concert with Kelly and the lessons they’ll learn from her

“It’s always a thrill for the students to share the stage with a really accomplished musician,” says Sielert. “It pumps them up and raises the bar for what they can deliver.”

In addition to her performances, Kelly will be conducting workshops throughout the festival, including creating simple jazz melodies with UI associate professor of saxophone Vanessa Sielert assisting; finding inspiration and ideas for improvisation; and discussing her life and career as a musician. For the full schedule of workshops and performances, check out the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival line-up.