Saturday afternoon I got a chance to see Grace Kelly as a guest of San Jose Jazz Festival Winterfest. I first heard of Grace when she appeared on Marion McPartland’s Piano Jazz show back in April of 2008. Until recently she played up and down the east coast and on cruises but never making out here to the west coast. Just recently she was playing at Yoshi’s and then she turned up at San Jose Jazz’s Winterfest.
First I need to complement the San Jose Jazz Society for putting on a great concert series and picking an very nice venue. I had never been to the theatre on San Pedro Square before. Very nice intimate space upstairs from the restaurants. Good acousitics, a bar at the back and very nice seating arrangement. It reminds me of the old Yoshi’s in Oakland when they were on College Ave.
Grace brought her band with her and picked up a new drummer, Mike Ferber. Her group featured Jason Palmer on trumpet, Peter McCann on guitar, and Evan Gregor on bass. The group was stellar. They rocked out to standards like Caravan, Round Midnight, and Bye bye Blackbird. Her duet with Evan Gregor of Round Midnight was beautiful. Grace did serveral of her own compositions like Philosophical Flying Fish, Eggshells, Autum Song, and Night Time Star. They closed with a very funky version of Summertime. Grace very much respects the tradition of the music and is injecting her own style. The concert was a blast. I would love to see them in a dance club. If you get a chance to catch Grace I recommend it strongly. If you want to listed to her music and see where she is playing check out her web site Grace Kelly Music . Maybe San Jose Jazz can get her back for the Summerfest.