Over the past several years, this jazz piano prodigy has been paying his dues and honing his craft: learning what it means to be a bandleader, keeping material fresh after repeated performances, and seeking out sidemen who are also collaborators. Joey Alexander develops fresh takes on well-known tunes, combining them seamlessly with his own original compositions in a way that invites both new and seasoned listeners in and reflects the true emotional heart and soul of his musical personality.
Media interest in Alexander has resulted in appearances and interviews for The Today Show, 60 Minutes, CNN, the New York Times, and a host of other television, radio, and print media. This has fueled a rare level of public notoriety for him as a jazz musician, entirely unheard of for one his age, both within the jazz community and among the public at large.
His 2015 debut album, My Favorite Things, garnered two Grammy Award nominations for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” and “Best Improvised Solo” for his performance of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” making him the youngest jazz artist ever nominated for a Grammy. His performances on the 58th Annual Grammy Awards broadcast―far more magical than what was expected―received standing ovations from the star-studded audience, bringing his talent to the attention of music lovers everywhere, mesmerizing long-time industry professionals, and inspiring other young musicians to pursue their own dreams.
Through all this, Alexander has remained humble, focused on developing as a player and pursuing his growing interest in composing. His sophomore album, Countdown, showcases his remarkable development as a contemporary jazz bandleader and promise as a composer. He says that his growth as a composer is due to the hours he spends practicing piano in between his school, media and touring commitments, and his rare moments of free time during which he enjoys doing “regular kid things,” such as watching movies, playing games, swimming, and tennis. “You know, I love both creating music in the studio and performing for people onstage,” he says, “but I have to admit there’s something special about getting a crowd excited by playing jazz live. In most situations I try to be calm, but I love the intense energy that happens between me and the audience. When they express their appreciation in this way, I am inspired to go deeper as a person and musician, improve my craft and create exciting new sounds.”
He recently turned 14 years old, but Joey Alexander is already a music industry veteran.
—San Francisco Chronicle
A thoughtful musician as well as a natural one, with a sophisticated harmonic palette and a dynamic sensitivity.
—New York Times
If the word ‘genius’ still means anything, it applies to this prodigy.