JOEY ALEXANDER, a native of Bali, Indonesia, taught himself to play piano by listening to classic jazz albums his father shared with him. An amateur musician, Joey’s father soon recognized his son’s gift for jazz, as his technique and ability to grasp complicated musical concepts was beyond someone of his years. Due to the lack of jazz education where he lived, Joey began attending jam sessions with senior musicians. From there, his musical intuition flourished, as did his love of playing jazz. In recognition of his talent, UNESCO invited Joey to play solo piano in honor of his jazz idol, Herbie Hancock, who provided early enthusiastic support to Joey’s budding career. The world has taken notice of this phenomenal and exciting pianist with the astonishing technique and soulful sound. Joey has been featured at festivals worldwide including Jakarta’s International Java Jazz Festival and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. With his third studio effort, Eclipse, his most personal statement to date, Joey takes another giant step forward, demonstrating his aptitude as a composer, bandleader and musician, hinting at the many artistic paths open to him in the decades ahead.
The Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Big Band directed by John Black, with assistance by TJI owners Brice Winston and Scott Black, is comprised of high school musicians from the greater Tucson area including Nogales who study at this award-winning community music school. This big band (one of 6 at the TJI), loved for their swinging diverse and energetic big band sounds, is the #1 High School Big Band placing in the top 3 8 years in row including(including last May 2018) of the prestigious national Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Competition Award presided over by Wynton Marsalis. They were named the Best Community Jazz Band in the Annual Student Music Awards in DownBeat Magazine in May 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017. The Tucson Jazz Institute teaches middle school students on Saturdays and high school students on Sundays. They study jazz improvisation in small group classes (combos) and swing era music in big bands. TJI has about 100 students and gives many children an outlet they would not have otherwise. Over 90% of their graduates get substantial college scholarships. Their alumni attend some of the most prestigious schools in the nation including Julliard, the Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, Princeton, USC and Swarthmore (many on scholarship) and have gone on to major careers in jazz music.