The phrase, “You’ve come a long way,” means a lot to Dida Pelled. At the age of 21, she’s already making a name for herself in jazz.

Her journey began in native Israel, where she accumulated extensive experience as a guitarist and vocalist. Obligated to serve in the military, she spent two years performing at high-profile events for the Israeli Army. Upon her release, Pelled set her sights on the United States, where she enrolled at the Berklee College of Music and later The New School Univesity in New York City.
Trumpeter Fabio Morgera discovered Pelled playing gigs in the New York area and introduced her to trumpeter Roy Hargrove and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Like others, they were impressed by her sound. Those meetings ultimately led to her first release, Plays and Sings (Red Records, 2011). Her accompanists are Hutchinson and bassist Tal Ronen. Hargrove and Morgera appear on selected tracks.

Pelled’s trio, assisted by Hargrove, delivers a delightful take on Wes Mongtomery’s “Fried Pies.” The jaunty trumpet lead carries the song for the most part. Pelled emulates Montgomery during her parts. Hargrove also contributes to the fresh take on Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” The trumpet provides a nice touch, injecting fills behind Pelled’s voice during the second verse. Hutchinson’s timely cymbal splashes adds some extra seasoning.

“Ir Atzuca – It’s a Sad City” is a tranquil piece, beautiful despite its melancholy mood. Pelled takes advantage of the instrumental piece to show off her guitar dexterity. She makes it seem easy as she mixes rhythm chords with lead notes.
Prior to the release of Plays and Sings, Pelled played with a variety of accomplished artists and performed at such venues as Birdland, Small’s Jazz Club and other notable landmarks.