MELISSA ALDANA QUARTET
MELISSA ALDANA IS A CHILEAN TENOR SAXOPHONE PLAYER WHO PERFORMS BOTH AS A SOLOIST AND WITH HER QUARTET. "ALDANA ... IS CULTURED, EMOTIONALLY WEIGHTED, PURPOSEFUL." — BOSTON GLOBE
APRIL 27, 2019, 7:30PM
Lawlor Events Center, 1500 N. Virginia St.
"Aldana stands as an irrepressibly creative phrase-maker, sidestepping cliche at almost every turn."
— Chicago Tribune
"... one of the more exciting young tenor saxophonists today."
— New York Times
"... savvy subversions to jazz’s modern mainstream."
As a child, Melissa studied with her renowned saxophonist father Marcos Aldana (son of saxophonist Enrique Aldana, whose Selmer Mark VI tenor Melissa performs with to this day). She started out on alto but after hearing Sonny Rollins’ Plus 4 album she switched to tenor and never looked back.
Aldana moved to the US in 2007 to study at Berklee College of Music under the mentorship of tenor great, George Garzone. Just five years later, she became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American ever to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. She is also a recipient of the Martin E. Segal Award from Jazz at Lincoln Center and a double recipient of the Altazor Award, Chile’s highly prestigious national arts prize.
Aldana's 2016 album Back Home reveals much about her musical evolution from a 6-year-old alto player to "a bold new talent" (NPR) and one of the most compelling and prodigious tenor saxophonists of her time. The album is in many ways a tribute to Sonny Rollins. “He was one of the reasons I started playing trio, because of the freedom that you have within the music, the interaction, the opportunity you have to express yourself and communicate with the other musicians,” explains Aldana.