Jazz Pianist Joey Alexander Performance

The 13-year-old musician performs in-studio.

A native of Bali, Joey Alexander taught himself to play piano by listening to classic jazz albums his father shared with him. An amateur musician, Alexander’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, Alexander 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 Alexander to play solo piano in honor of his jazz idol Herbie Hancock, who provided early enthusiastic support to Alexander’s budding career. Alexander has been featured at festivals worldwide including Jakarta's International Java Jazz Festival and the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. His brilliance as an improviser won him the Grand Prix in the 1st International Festival Contest of Jazz Improvisation in Odessa, Ukraine, in 2013, which included over 43 talented jazz professionals from 17 countries. He has performed for President Clinton and other luminaries at galas including the Arthur Ashe Gala, Jazz at Lincoln Center's annual gala and A Great Night in Harlem at The Apollo, where he played in honor of Hancock and received a standing ovation. His most recent project is titled Coutdown. 

TRANSCRIPT

Tavis: Joey’s gonna perform in just a moment, so stay with us [laugh].

As I mentioned at the top of the program, jazz pianist Joey Alexander was here recently and performed a song from his latest album. It’s called “Countdown” in stores now and available for download. Here now performing another original composition from that project called “Sunday Waltz” is Joey Alexander. Enjoy, and keep the faith.

[Performance]

Announcer: For more information on today’s show, visit Tavis Smiley at pbs.org.

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Announcer: And by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you. Thank you.

Last modified: December 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm