Interview With Saxophonist Grace Kelly for the Los Angeles Review of Books
Saxophonist Grace Kelly
CHRIS BECKER: So much of how we get our information these days is through visual communication, be it on social media or in pop music — and you certainly have your own unique eye-catching style. As an artist, has that become an important component to get people to pay attention?
GRACE KELLY: That’s a great question. I have family friends who live in New York City, and one of their kids is four years old; he’s an amazing kid, so musical, and I remember they were playing him my new album. He kept saying, “Why can’t I see it?” It was kind of a light bulb moment for me.
One of the things that I’m working on for my new album is how it will be presented live as a multimedia show. The album is so visual. All of these songs I wrote I saw [them] visually beforehand.
We’ve done a couple of music videos for the album, the latest one for the track “Blues for Harry Bosch,” which includes Bosch in a trench coat, cigarette smoke, me, and the musicians in a club [with] cool lighting. Jazz, as an art form, is a little bit behind in the way pop music uses visuals. I think this is something jazz musicians are becoming aware of, and will come into play more in the future. In a live performance, people are there to hear you, but also to see you. I’ve always thought it was so important to dress well and to present a visually stimulating show.