Women Music March 2023 – Day 11 – Melissa Aldana


Melissa Aldana photograph by Paul Morigi/
Getty Images for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

For some reason it always natural to be a bandleader,” she said. I didn’t get to play with the elders as much as I would have liked. But I thought by having good gigs and hiring people who play better than me I could advance. – Melissa Aldana, in the January 31, 2023 East Bay Times, being interviewed regarding her band’s current gigs in the East Bay area

Melissa Aldana (born 3 December 1988) is a Chilean tenor saxophone player, who performs both as a soloist and with her band Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio.

Early Life: Aldana was born in Santiago, Chile.

Musical Beginnings: She began playing the saxophone when she was six, under the influence and tuition of her father Marcos Aldana, also a professional saxophonist. Aldana began with alto, influenced by artists such as Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Michael Brecker. However, upon first hearing the music of Sonny Rollins, she switched to tenor; the first tenor saxophone she used was a Selmer Mark VI that had belonged to her grandfather.

She performed in Santiago jazz clubs while in her early teens. In 2005, after meeting him while he was on tour in Chile, she was invited by pianist Danilo Pérez to play at the Panama Jazz Festival, as well as auditions at music schools in the USA. As a result of these introductions, she attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where her tutors included Joe Lovano, George Garzone, Frank Tiberi, Greg Osby, Hal Crook, Bill Pierce, and Ralph Peterson. She graduated from Berklee in 2009, relocating to New York City to study under George Coleman.

Albums: 6

One thing to share: per allmusic: At the age of 24, in September 2013, Aldana won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. The jurors were Jane Ira Bloom, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Shorter, and Bobby Watson. She was the first female instrumentalist ever to win the competition. Part of her prize was a recording contract with Concord Jazz…

Official website: here

Source: wikipedia


16 Comments Add yours

  1. randydafoe says:

    That’s an impressive resume.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol anne says:

    she’s a new artist to me! Thanks for sharing this great music Lisa! 🙂


    1. msjadeli says:

      You’re very welcome, Carol Anne 🙂


  3. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Thats different! Maybe it’s just me but I never see many female saxophone players…not being sexist…I just don’t…she sounds great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, she does, and I like the visualization video also.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That saxophone sounds mighty sweet – I love it, Lisa!

    Also, as Max said, there really aren’t many known female saxophone players out there. The only prominent one I can think of is Dutch player Candy Dulfer who gained international popularity when ex-Eurythmics’ David Stewart teamed up with her for the 1989 soundtrack “Lily Was Here” and the title track became a top 20 hit in many countries.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. memadtwo says:

    She really makes that horn sing. Quite a resume for one so young. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    Another introduction. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      My pleasure, Dale!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. calmkate says:

    wow the sexy sax is my most favourite instrument! Love this recording and kudos to her 🙂

    Thanks for the intro Lisa 🙂


    1. msjadeli says:

      She’s really good on that sax. I heard live sax music on Friday night at the Pink Floyd cover band. That dude was also really good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. calmkate says:

        lucky you, must have been amazing!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I will be taking a deep plunge into this music also. Anytime I see a sax I have to check it out. She has a very nice tone (Lester Young like). Plus the chops. On my listening pile right away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Happy to hear it. Vanessa Collier is another FABulous saxophone player.

      Liked by 1 person

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