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