Championed by Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton Marsalis, 15-year-old Joey Alexander is the brightest light in jazz piano – a bona fide star whose expressive range and musical maturity confounds the stereotypical definition of a jazz prodigy. He performs material from his 2017 Motéma release Eclipse and a few holiday tunes from his new EP A Joey Alexander Christmas, joined by guest saxophonist Chris Potter. Since his U.S. debut four years ago at the Jazz at Lincoln Center gala, the Bali-born Alexander has rocketed to stardom via a performance on the 2016 GRAMMY awards, a feature segment on 60 Minutes, an appearance on the Today show, a TED conference, and a performance with Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding at the White House in celebration of International Jazz Day.
His 2015 debut release on the Motéma label, My Favorite Things, received two GRAMMY nominations, making Alexander the youngest artist ever nominated for a GRAMMY in the jazz category. 2016’s GRAMMY-nominated Countdown and 2017’s Joey.Monk.Live! were prelude to Alexander’s most audacious project. Recorded during the total solar eclipse in August 2017, Eclipse establishes Alexander as a mature composer and performer who transcends any lingering youth-tied qualifiers and emerges as a seasoned veteran and creative force whose musical life is only just beginning.
This week is extra special, since it reunites Alexander with tenor saxophone great Chris Potter, who appeared on the pianist’s sophomore release, Countdown.