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Claire Daly
Claire Daly  Biography
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Claire Daly was 12 years old in 1971 when the world of Jazz beckoned to her. An alto saxophone student for only five months at the time, a concert at the Westchester County Center, just north of New York City, was the impetus that set her on her life’s path. Although the event was a big band nostalgia show, it was the decidedly non-nostalgic approach of Buddy Rich’s burning band that had her "standing on my seat, screaming" and focused on a career in Jazz.

Nine years later, after graduating from Massachusetts’ prestigious Berklee College of Music, Claire began her life as a professional and has been working steadily ever since. After two tenor sax stints with Boston-based rock groups, she found the baritone sax, and herself. "This is it, this is where I live, this is what makes sense to me" was her immediate reaction after blowing just one note.

Very much in demand since moving to New York City in the mid-eighties, Daly spent seven years with the all-female big band Diva and maintains a longtime association with pianist/composer Joel Forrester who has had an enormous impact on her musical sensibilities.

Among her saxophone influences are Sonny Rollins and Rahsaan Roland Kirk, along with baritone heavyweights Serge Chaloff, Leo Parker and Ronnie Cuber. Not an imitator, Claire "would rather emulate where they’re coming from than what they’re actually playing." Her quartet’s stellar performance at the Kennedy Center’s Fifth Annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival and her recent recording, 'Swing Low,' proves that she’s doing just that.

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