In the jazz world, there is a new and up and coming musician with a lot of talent to show.
Melissa Aldana is a saxophonist from Chile. In 2013, she became the first female instrumentalist to win the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Competition.
Aldana attributes much of her inspiration to Frida Kahlo, a Mexican artist, and an icon to many women in South America.
Aldana said Kahlo had to overcome major trials, like major injuries sustained in a bus accident, and her husband cheating on her with her younger sister.
Aldana said that a lot of the inspiration she got from Kahlo wasn’t because of her artistry, but who she was.
“I wasn’t so much inspired by her art as I was about her journey to find her own self-identity through art,” Aldana said. “It was a reflection of what I really felt about my influence and what I felt at the moment.”
Aldana has moved forward in an industry dominated by men with courage and confidence. She said she isn’t too worried about being a minority in the jazz world.
“In my head…it’s all about the music, and my gender doesn’t influence that,” Aldana said.
Her latest album is called “Visions.” Many of the songs are tied to her feelings about Frida Kahlo.
Aldana’s music is available on sites like Spotify and Amazon Music, as well as her website.
“I’m trying to be the strongest I can…and try to do something that is meaningful…where the music speaks by itself,” Aldana said. “[I’m trying] to be a role model.”