“In performance, Nealand brings an effervescence to her presentation whether she’s sitting onstage, standing on the street, or marching in a parade. Her eyes light up as the music ignites, and her smile encourages other musicians to play their best, and the audience to get into it and dance, bounce or sway. It’s obvious that she takes the music seriously, but that exploring while playing is an aesthetic priority. She is definitely one to watch as an innovator and creator.”
– Downbeat Magazine
An established bandleader, composer, performer and improviser, Aurora Nealand has become a prominent force in the New Orleans music scene since she first arrived in 2005. Combining the “formal education” – a music composition degree from Oberlin Conservatory and training at the Jacques Lecoq School of Physical Theatre in Paris – with the “informal” experience of playing music in the streets and clubs of New Orleans and throughout the northern Hemisphere, Nealand has emerged as an innovative, sensitive and daring music creator and performer.
She is most recognized for her performance on saxophones, clarinet and vocals and has been at the forefront of the revival of New Orleans Traditional Jazz amongst the younger generation of the city’s musicians. After playing and learning as a sideman in established New Orleans Bands for several years, (Panorama Jazz Band, VaVaVoom, The New Orleans Moonshiners), in 2010 she formed her own Traditional Jazz band “The Royal Roses”. The Royal Roses released it’s first album, “A Tribute to Sydney Bechet: Live at Preservation Hall” to national acclaim and Nealand was voted as one of Downbeat Magazines top ten rising stars for soprano saxophone in 2010.