Don’t Miss This Year’s Headliners

Friday 6/23

Grace Kelly

An unequivocal musical prodigy, singer-saxophonist-songwriter-composer and band leader Grace Kelly has rocked the jazz world with sold-out concerts, 14 acclaimed albums and a resume that includes performing at the Hollywood Bowl and as part of the house band for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” – all before reaching her mid-twenties. Kelly’s early career featured performances at Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration at age 16 and at 14 as a soloist with the Boston Pops playing an original composition arranged for the legendary orchestra; she has since then played over 900 shows as bandleader in 35 countries at venues like the Kennedy Center and Moscow Symphony Hall and for the Montreal, Newport, and Montreux international jazz festivals. Touted for her scorching saxophone stylings and purring vocals, Kelly has performed and recorded with renowned artists including Lin Manuel- Miranda, Dave Brubeck, Lee Konitz, Phil Woods, Huey Lewis, Harry Connick Jr., Gloria Estefan, Questlove, and Wynton Marsalis. Kelly was named the winner of “Song of the Year” for her single “Feels Like Home” in the 2018 John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and has been named nine times consecutively in the Annual Downbeat Magazines Critics Poll “Rising Star Alto Saxophone” from the age of 17 in 2009 and winning the poll in 2017 (Youngest ever named to Downbeat critics poll in 2009.). She has also won multiple ASCAP Composer Awards, Boston Music Awards, and International Songwriting Awards. She has also appeared as a featured performer in films and television, including acclaimed documentary “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story”, Amazon’s Emmy-nominated original series “Bosch”, and featured in the 2017 Emmy-winning Yamaha production “The Right Note” Featured by Vanity Fair as a millennial shaking up the jazz world, Kelly’s state-of-the-art brand of electro jazz-pop and inventive digital content are pushing her to the forefront of the fusion scene, alongside names like Snarky Puppy, Jacob Collier, Cory Henry, Robert Glasper, Jon Batiste, and Too Many Zooz. My new upcoming album “All That I Need” was inspired by the different emotions that embody the courageous spirit. I found myself on a journey thinking about what the courageous spirit feels and looks like to me. Kelly states, “I wanted to write an album that was fueled by the feeling of courage. Coming out of the pandemic, as an artist, I found myself battling the fear-based thought of: am I ever going to be able to do this thing that I love again for people? But I choose to be an optimist. To move forward with some type of courageous spirit. I always want to step into places that might feel scary or challenging in order to create an opportunity for both personal and artistic growth. That was the initial idea behind “All That I Need.” The inspiration behind the album came in different forms – I found inspiration in the written words of the great poet and activist Maya Angelou. Her bold beautiful words in her poem “And Still I Rise” inspired Grace to write the track, “We Will Rise.” It is a song dedicated to women all around the globe, a song about pushing forward during challenging times and standing up together to advocate and fight for our rights. Kelly states, “As a songwriter, my contribution to the world includes creating music that can help spark hope and be the sonic fuel to others’ words and actions. I think back to a few years ago, when April and I wrote a song for She’s the First, a non-profit I adore. They partner with grassroots organizations around the world, supporting girls’ access to education. Recently, they’ve been at the forefront of providing the public with resources since Roe v. Wade was overturned. Right now, I feel that we need to spotlight and hear the voices of great female leaders, such as those at She’s the First, more than ever. For April and me, We Will Rise comes from that same spirit — it’s about protecting our rights around our bodies and independence. I hope this song wakes up the female warrior inside and gives the inspiration to fight for our rights as women.” Coming 2023, Grace’s next project inspired by Charlie Parker with Strings, will be “At The Movies: Grace Kelly with Strings” Grace will reimagine music from favorite classic and current movies with fresh arrangements and fully merges it into her young sound. Aside from thrilling audiences in concert, Kelly’s stardom reaches the acclaim of her audiences online. The millennial artist has developed a new paradigm to exhibit her remarkable talent and unparalleled showmanship with the masses, curating an immersive user experience for her fans across multiple social media platforms. Kelly’s dedication to posting engaging content and offering insight into her daily life has deepened her brand, bringing thousands upon thousands of eager fans into her world and gaining millions of views online, allowing the artist to bridge the gap between virtuosic musician and cultural phenomenon. Grace is a masterful clinician specializing in jazz improvisation and stage performance. She has taught thousands of students to become more confident performers and players both online and in-person. She is the co-founder of Saxy School, an innovative online saxophone school. Grace is the youngest member of the Board of Trustees of Berklee College of Music and has held a guest teaching residency at the college. Grace Kelly is a Yamaha and Boston Sax Shop artist. She plays the 82Z Alto Saxophone and the YBS Baritone Sax along with the Vandoren Alto V16 A8 S+ mouthpiece, Boston Sax Shop Custom Alto Reeds 2.5 strength reeds, and Boston Sax Shop Superlative Alto Ligature. For further information about Grace Kelly, visit her website at, on Instagram at, on YouTube at, on Facebook at, on or Twitter at @gracekellymusic “[A] jazz innovator… Making jazz young” – BILLBOARD “Kelly champions accessibility without sacrificing style.” VILLAGE VOICE “…broad tone and tenacious flow on the alto saxophone, clearly in possession of virtuoso talents… impressive singing voice, flitting among a range of styles.” – NY Times “Grace Kelly’s songwriting is as amazing as her voice. ‘Feels Like Home’ is just one example of how her gentleness and subtlety can command attention and evoke strong emotion.” – Aloe Blacc (Chart- topping Singer/Songwriter/Producer) “Grace Kelly has an electric charisma onstage that instantly ignites the room”– Jon Batiste (Bandleader for ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space height=”48px”][vc_text_separator title=”EPK” css=”.vc_custom_1531020069535{padding-bottom: 32px !important;}”][edgtf_video_button video_link=”” title=”Grace Kelly EPK 2018″ preview_image=”108″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Friday 6/23

Mindi Abair

“She’ll Move You” – Keb’ Mo’
“Forget You, Who’s Your Sax Player? – Steven Tyler on American Idol
“21st Century Sophistication, A Gritty, Raucous Spirit, And Exceptional Creative Imagination” – Allmusic.Com
One of the most recognized and sought-after saxophonists, two-time GRAMMY nominee Mindi Abair has been
electrifying audiences with her dynamic live performances and sax prowess since her debut album in 1999. No one
since Junior Walker has brought saxophone and vocals in one package to the forefront of modern music. In 2014,
Mindi received her first GRAMMY nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, followed by a 2015
GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart featuring the late
Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg.
You might know her as the featured saxophonist on American Idol, sitting in with Paul Shaffer on The Late Show
with David Letterman and The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, or as the first solo saxophonist
touring with Aerosmith since 1973. She has garnered twelve #1 radio hits in the jazz and blues world, two #1 spots
on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album Chart and two #3 spots on the Billboard Blues Album Chart. In 2018,
Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers won 8 Independent Blues Awards including Artist of the Year and Best Blues
Song fan award for the Independent Music Awards for “Pretty Good For A Girl” featuring Joe Bonamassa. In
2019, Mindi was nominated by the Blues Music Awards as the Best Instrumentalist: Horn and won the LA Critics
Award for Best Holiday Album for All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues.
As creator, designer and owner, Mindi successfully launched Reserve Tastings Wine Company in 2019 as a lifestyle
concept that brings together the worlds of wine + music through members-only exclusive wines paired with
personally curated music playlists, label art and branded wine + music festivals.
Mindi wrote the book “How To Play Madison Square Garden – A Guide To Stage Performance,” created the
website to celebrate women, and has served almost 10 years as an LA Chapter
Governor, President and National Trustee for The Recording Academy. Mindi has toured and/or recorded with:
Aerosmith, Joe Bonamassa, Smokey Robinson, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Gregg Allman,
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Fantastic Negrito, Waddy Wachtel, Bobby Rush, Keb’ Mo’, Teena Marie, Lee Ritenour,
Adam Sandler, Duran Duran, Bill Champlin, Richard Elliott, Jimmy Webb, Max Weinberg, Dave Koz, Peter White,
Gerald Albright, Mandy Moore, Lalah Hathaway and the Backstreet Boys.
Mindi Abair “Imagine”
Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers “Voodoo Child” LIVE at Jazz Alley
Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers “Pretty Good For A Girl” featuring Joe Bonamassa:

Saturday 6/24

The Four Freshmen

The Four Freshmen stand as America’s most enduring vocal group.    Staying authentic in their performance for over seven decades.     The Four Freshmen deliver a world of music with pure  passion that will  take some listeners back to the bygone era of their youth while introducing others to a brand of vocal harmony entertainment unique to the legendary Four Freshmen. No pyro techniques. No backing tracks. No confetti cannons.  Their show recipe is straight ahead: Authentic harmonies ,  mixed with celebration of great songs,  a twist of elegance, a splash of swing  And a whole lot of fun!

“…singing a super-tight, ultra-hip four-part harmony over a foundation of straight-ahead jazz…borderline magical downright electric, inducing chills.” Palm Beach Daily News

Saturday 6/24

Joey Alexander

Born in Bali, Indonesia, Joey Alexander has been performing professionally since 2013 when he was invited by Wynton Marsalis to perform at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala. Alexander subsequently moved to New York City and released his debut album, My Favorite Things, in 2015 on Motéma Music, followed by three more on the label and a fifth on Verve. Alexander’s albums have netted three GRAMMY® Award nominations – one for Best Jazz Instrumental Album (My Favorite Things), and two for Best Improvised Jazz Solo (“Giant Steps,” from My Favorite Things, and “Countdown” from the album of the same name) – with My Favorite Things and Countdown securing the No. 1 spot on the Billboard jazz charts and Eclipse coming at No. 3.

Over the course of his astonishing career, Alexander has performed with Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding at the Obama White House, for President Bill Clinton at the Arthur Ashe Learning Center Gala, at the Grand Ole Opry, the Apollo Theater, Carnegie Hall and at major jazz festivals and night clubs around the world. He has also been the subject of profiles on 60 Minutes and The New York TimesOrigin is Alexander’s first album for Mack Avenue Records and was released May 20, 2022.

For more information, please visit:

Sunday 6/25

Joan Collaso Trio

Joan Collaso is a native of Chicago. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Chicago State University. Her artistry is celebrated throughout Chicago, the Midwest and internationally. Her credits and contributions to the performing arts community are numerous, including productions and performances, live and recorded background vocalist for top artists, and performances for film and television. Among many awards, Joan received a coveted Emmy for her performance in the PBS Special Precious Memories, Strolling 47th Street. Her film and television credits span from Oprah Winfrey to the hit TV show Empire. Her voice has been heard on numerous radio and TV commercials, and recordings. She’s performed supporting vocals in concert for musical giants like Stevie Wonder, George Duke, Al Jarreau and for the late “Queen of Soul” Ms. Aretha Franklin. She’s opened for Jeffrey Osbourne and India Irie, and performed her one-woman show, A Tribute to Nancy Wilson and Shirley Horn in Las Vegas. In addition to being an accomplished performer, Ms. Collaso is the founder and Executive Director of Timeless Gifts Performing Arts Program for Youth & Young Adults, an organization that inspires, instructs and provides advanced professional performance opportunities for young aspiring artists in the Chicago land area. In April of 2019 Ms. Collaso and her team took The Timeless Gifts’ Vocal Ensemble, 16 young vocalists, and 3 young musicians on their debut performance tour in Milan, Italy, with hopes to finally return in 2022. 


“She happens to be one of the best Jazz vocalists in Chicago.” Richard Steele, WBEZ 91.5FM 

I’d love to turn the rest of the Jazz universe on to one of the best singers in Chicago.                   —Mark Ruffin, Program Director Real Jazz, Sirius XM Satellite Radio 

Joan Collaso is one of the most talented and versatile singers/entertainers that I have had the
pleasure to work with. In my experience of working with her she has amazed me with her ability to capture audiences across the world. She can 
get down in any genre of music hence the versatility. I would have to say that anyone who has
 the opportunity to see a Joan Collaso performance should without hesitation. Nick Colionne, International Smooth Jazz Guitarist 

Joan Collaso’s Notable Performances:

– 2000 – 2021Elkhart Jazz Festival (Headliner along with Monty Alexander in 2021)

– 2012, 2018, 2019 Chicago Jazz Festival

– 2018, 2021 Hyde Park Jazz Festival 

– 2015 and 2011 African Festival of the Arts (opened for India Irie and Jeffrey Osborne)

Background vocalist for: Aretha Franklin (2015-2018), Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, George Duke, Michael Henderson

– 7 CDs to her credit

– 2010-present, Founder and Executive / Artistic Director of 501c3 organization, Timeless Gifts Youth Program for the Performing Arts

– Creator, producer and director of musical productions in Chicago:

A Tribute to Nancy Wilson & Shirley Horn

Eleven Gospel Divas

Eleven Jazzy Divas

Timeless Gifts Christmas Duets Mentoring Concert

A Legacy for America’s Children, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

.(musical narrative, educational play for youth)

A Timeless Revue (musical narrative play)

– Performed for 3 History Makers PBS specials: 

An Evening with Valerie Simpson, An Evening with Berry Gordy, An Evening with Valerie Jarrett

– Received a Chicago Emmy Award for her 1988 performance in the PBS Special: Precious Memories, Strolling 47th Street

 – International Jazz performances: 7 times at North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague and Rotterdam, Netherlands; Sister Cities Festival in Osaka, Japan; Jazzcaar in Estonia; Jazz tour in Torino, Italy; World Music Festival in Rotterdam; Timeless Gifts performance tour in Milan, Italy

2023 Line-up

Past Elkhart Jazz Festivals

Do You Have Your Ticket Yet?