The youngest jazz artist ever nominated for a Grammy Award, Joey Alexander returns to our Gardens and showcases new material from his upcoming album, WARNA, with Verve Records. Translating as “color” from Alexander’s native language of Bahasa and slated for release in late January, the album is primarily a reflective, moving collection of new and original music.
Listen to Joey Alexander Trio
More about Joey Alexander
Over the past five years, Joey Alexander has become the most brilliantly precocious talent in jazz history—that is, a renowned festival and concert-hall headliner; the youngest jazz musician ever nominated for a Grammy Award; and a media favorite who has earned a profile on 60 Minutes, a front-page profile in The New York Times, and other premier coverage.
As heard on WARNA, his new major-label Verve Records debut, he has simply become one of the most expressive and thrilling pianist-composers currently at work in jazz. Alexander’s precocity can still stun concertgoers, but his music, including original work and personalized interpretations of great songs, has now taken its rightful place in the spotlight.
Translating as “color” from Alexander’s native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics’ and readers’ poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. But whereas those recordings were documents of an extraordinary young musician in development, WARNA is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new music by an experienced, confident bandleader. In this album, Alexander channels what he sees, hears, and feels throughout his life and travels into his astonishing melodic gift and natural aptitude for spontaneous collaboration. Joining Alexander on this journey are bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Kendrick Scott, who, like their bandleader, represent the very best of their jazz generations
Alexander arrived in New York as a lightning bolt in the spring of 2014, performing at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s annual fundraising gala. At the helm of a packed-out theater, Alexander dropped jaws with a remarkably lyrical rendition of Round Midnight. A standing ovation ensued, and Alexander has not slowed down since. From there, he went on to receive his three Grammy nominations, with two of Alexander’s four previous albums topping the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. Alexander also performed at the 58th Grammy Awards, where he received a standing ovation. That same year, he also performed with Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding for the Obamas at the White House, as part of a nationally televised International Jazz Day special. In 2019, he made his triumphant Carnegie Hall debut to a sold-out crowd.
Early on in Alexander’s ascent, the trumpeter and jazz legend Wynton Marsalis said that “there has never been anyone … who could play like that at his age.” Marsalis, who essentially “discovered” Alexander, was spot-on in his assessment. But today, in light of WARNA, one could extend their judgment to say that Joey Alexander continues to perform at the highest level.
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Gardens Preferred and Gardens Premium Members receive up to 15% off 2019–2020 Performance Series tickets and receive access to the Member Pre-sale. If you are eligible, your discount code was provided to you via e-mail. Use the discount code to unlock your Membership pricing.