Gretchen Parlato is an American jazz singer and the daughter of Dave Parlato, a bass player for Frank Zappa. Gretchen attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, then earned a bachelor's degree in Ethnomusicology/Jazz Studies at University of California, Los Angeles. In 2001 she was accepted into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance by a panel of judges including Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard an Wayne Shorter. Gretchen was the first vocalist ever admitted into the program. In 2003, Gretchen moved to New York City and a year later, she won first place in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. by a panel of judges such as Quincy Jones, Flora Purim, Al Jarreau, Kurt Elling, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Jimmy Scott. Gretchen has performed and recorded with musicians such as Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Barron, Kenny Barron, Esperanza Spalding, Terence Blanchard, Marcus Miller and Lionel Loueke. Her album, Live in NYC (2013) received a Grammy Award Nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album and received 4.5 stars in Downbeat Magazine.