Grammy-nominated saxophonist and composer Melissa Aldana is the latest addition to Blue Note Records’ prestigious roster.
The record label announced that Aldana will be heading into the studio later this month to record her Blue Note debut, with plans for a release in early 2022.
“It feels unreal that I was signed to Blue Note,” says Aldana. “There’s so much Blue Note music I’ve checked out through the years that influenced me and gave me a sense of direction. It helped me figure out how I wanted to sound and what speaks to me, musically. I feel extremely honoured to be a part of the label and a part of the legacy. It means so much to me.”
Born and raised in Chile, Aldana 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. She moved to the U.S. to attend the Berklee College of Music, and the year after graduating she released her first album Free Fall in 2010, followed by Second Cycle in 2012.
In 2013, a 24-year-old Aldana became the first female instrumentalist and the first South American musician to win the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Jazz Saxophone Competition, in which her father had been a semi-finalist in 1991. She has since released three more albums: Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio (2014), Back Home (2016) and Visions (2019).
Aldana is also one of the founding members of Artemis, the all-star jazz collective whose self-titled debut album was one of the most critically acclaimed albums of last year. JAZZ.FM91 named it one of the best jazz albums of 2020.