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Jazz Festival

We are thrilled to announce Melissa Aldana as the featured guest artist for our 25th Annual Jazz Festival in 2024!

Join us on February 24, 2024, as the acclaimed Melissa Aldana takes the stage with our premier big band, Sound Alliance, for an unforgettable evening of swinging music.

About Melissa Aldana

Woman playing a musical instrument

In celebration of our 25th year, Aldana's performance promises to add a special touch to this milestone event. Save the date and join us for a night of jazz excellence and commemoration on February 24, 2024 – we can't wait to celebrate with you!

GRAMMY-nominated saxophonist and composer Melissa Aldana was born in Santiago, Chile, and grew up in a musical family. Both her father and grandfather were saxophonists, and she took up the instrument at age six under her father Marcos’ tutelage. Aldana began on alto, influenced by artists such as Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley, but switched to tenor upon first hearing the music of Sonny Rollins, who would become a hero and mentor. She performed in Santiago jazz clubs in her early teens and was invited by pianist Danilo Pérez to play at the Panama Jazz Festival in 2005.

Aldana moved to the U.S. to attend the Berklee College of Music, and the year after graduating she released her first album Free Fall on Greg Osby’s Inner Circle label in 2010, followed by Second Cycle in 2012. In 2013, at 24, she became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, in which her father had been a semi-finalist in 1991. After her win, she released her third album Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio (Concord). Aldana is also an in-demand clinician and educator and has recently been appointed to the faculty of the New England Conservatory’s Jazz Studies Department.

Learn more about Melissa Aldana

Band Directors

Band directors who want to participate in the festival need to register their ensemble. You will need to complete the registration for every group you plan to bring to campus. You must have a code to access the link. Please contact Dr. Aaron Miller or Dave Faires to receive the registration code.

Register Your Ensemble