CD Release party of “Behind the Eyes” Malena Quartet’s debut album
Tonight the Malena Quartet plays selections from its new album “Behind the Eyes.” Worldly and groove-based songs steeped in the jazz tradition with an introspective feel will get their time in the sun.
María Elena was born in New York City but grew up in Massachusetts. She started playing the alto saxophone the summer after third grade when her older brother put aside his for a tenor. In high school she studied both saxophone and clarinet with metro-Boston legends Ken Reid and Mark Miller, respectively. She graduated from Foxborough High School where she had the honor of performing at President Obama’s first Inauguration with the Kennedy Center’s “Let Celebration Swing” concert in 2008 and receiving an Essentially Ellington outstanding soloist award in 2009. María Elena continued her studies at Michigan State University where she studied from the great Wess Anderson and Diego Rivera and performed with MSU at the Detroit Jazz Festival in 2012. Currently, María Elena leads the Malena Quartet which features original compositions and arrangements in gigs across the Midwest. She free-lances across a variety of genres while growing her studio of students in the Ann Arbor Music Center and MSU’s Community Music School in Detroit.