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Elena Pinderhughes


Nineteen-year-old flutist and vocalist Elena Pinderhughes brings a stellar group of young artists to Jazz at Lincoln Center, playing original music showcasing her sensibilities as a leader and composer. The music reflects her life paths from the Bay Area to Cuba to New York City, incorporating influences from hip-hop to Latin music to jazz.

Elena’s interest in music started at an early age. She began singing and playing the flute at age 7. By age 9 she was performing and recording with local bands and recorded her first CD, Catch 22. At 11, she was featured in an HBO special on young musicians entitled The Music in Me. Versatile in many styles, Elena has won numerous awards for “best soloist” at jazz festivals and from Downbeat magazine. A 2013 Young Arts Gold Award recipient and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, she was a member of the Grammy Band and Choir, San Francisco Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Young Musicians Program.

Elena has performed in numerous venues, including: Carnegie Hall, the White House, the Kennedy Center, SF Jazz Center, Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Davies Symphony Hall, The Jazz Standard, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and jazz festivals and clubs throughout North America, Europe, Japan, and South America. Elena has performed with Hubert Laws, Herbie Hancock, Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire, Vijay Iyer, Christian Scott, Carlos Santana, Josh Groban, and others.

Most recently, Elena recorded on Ambrose Akinmusire’s latest Blue Note album, The Imagined Savior is Far Easier to Paint, Wayne Wallace’s Grammy nominated album Latin Jazz, Jazz Latin, and performed in the premier of Vijay Iyer’s work, Open City. Elena has been cited as “the most exciting jazz flautist to have emerged in years” by The Guardian.