Melissa Aldana

Saxophone – Jazz Institute, Advanced Package


elissa Aldana, who makes her first appearance on the SJW faculty this summer, was the first woman to win the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. The jurors were jazz greats Jane Ira Bloom, Branford Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Wayne Shorter, and Bobby Watson. Part of her prize was a recording contract with Concord Jazz, who issued Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio in the summer of 2014. Since then, Melissa has been a regular at the most prestigious jazz festivals and clubs in the world including the Playboy Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Umbria Jazz Festival, as well as top clubs such as the Blue Note, Jazz Standard, SFJAZZ, Smalls, and the Regatta Bar.

Born in Santiago, Chile in 1988, Melissa is the daughter of the renowned tenor saxophonist and jazz educator Marcos Aldana. From the age of six, Melissa insisted that he teach her how to play. At 16, Melissa was headlining jazz clubs all over Santiago. She attended the Berklee College of Music, where she studied under Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, Bill Pierce, and Ralph Peterson, to name a few. She is now based in New York City.

Find out more about Melissa at her website:

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