Grace Kelly: ‘Unimaginably Inappropriate’

Grace Kelly playing saxophone
Grace Kelly playing saxophone
Grace Kelly performs live in the Jazz24 studios on November 3. Credit Justin Steyer / KPLU

19-year-old saxophonist/singer, Grace Kelly is immensely gifted.  She’s also a lot of fun to hang around with.  Right before this studio session, interviewer Kevin Kniestedt asked her if she had already chosen the songs she would be performing that day.

She said she might not know what songs she’d be doing until she did them, which prompted someone behind to say (in jest), “Well, that’s just unimaginably inappropriate.”

Grace turned around, unleashed one of her disarmingly charming smiles and replied, “That’s me!”  Right then and there knew we were in for a good time.


In addition to two instrumental numbers (What Is This Called Love and Tender Madness) and one vocal performance (Bye-Bye Blackbird), Grace and Kevin discussed her meteoric rise to international acclaim and what it was like to meet and study with artists such as Phil Woods and Dave Brubeck when she was in her early teens.

She also talked about what an honor it was when alto saxophonist, Phil Woods gave her his much-cherished and well-worn leather hat.  As you will hear in her playing on this session, it was an honor that was honestly earned.

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