PODCAST: Melissa Aldana

Fresh off her victory in the Monk International Jazz Competition for saxophone alumna performs, the Chile-born Aldana is only 24 yet displays incredible artistry as a tenor player and maturity as a composer and bandleader.

October 8, 2013

These are heady times for Chile-born saxophonist Melissa Aldana. She moved to Manhattan after graduating form Berklee in 2009; began making a name for herself in that competitive and overpopulated scene; and just a few weeks ago, achieved something that no woman instrumentalist has ever done: she won the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. It was the first time a female had ever won first prize in a non-vocal Monk competition since the birth of the awards in 1987.

Fortunately for the Berklee community, Aldana had already been scheduled to perform this week at her alma mater. She'll perform with her Crash Trio at Cafe 939, in a concert that NPR will air and make available to jazz fans worldwide via NPRMusic video and audio. Aldana is one of several talented Berklee alumni to perform in the NPR series, The Checkout—Live at Berklee.

This week's Sounds of Berklee podcast features an Aldana original, "Free Fall," a composition that she performed during the final round of the Monk competition.


Melissa Aldana
"Free Fall"


Audio file