Youth will be served as Joey Alexander visits St. Cecilia jazz series

Joey Alexander will be bringing music from his second recording to the stage at St. Cecilia Music Center this week. (Supplied)

By K.D. Norris


Jazz piano wonderkind Joey Alexander is probably glad writers and reviewers are starting to pay less attention to his being only 13 years old and more attention to his being a suburb piano player with a growing reputation as a modern interpreter of jazz classics.


Joey Alexander (Supplied)

With the release of his second recording, “Countdown”, in late 2016, Alexander moves beyond being a Grammy sensation — his early 2016 Grammy appearance, following two nominations for his debut 2015 recording, “My Favorite Things” was a crowd favorite —   and moves into the forefront of rising jazz musicians.


Alexander, leading a classic trio, will bring his youthful experiences, and some “big boy’ jazz, to the St. Cecilia Music Center Thursday, March 23, for a 7:30 p.m. concert. Tickets are available.


“You know, I love both creating music in the studio and performing for people onstage,” Alexander said in supplied material. “But I have to admit there’s something special about getting a crowd excited by playing jazz live.”


Alexander was the youngest jazz artist to have ever been nominated for a Grammy award, garnered two Grammy Award nominations in 2015 including “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” and “Best Improvised Solo” for his performance on the album of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”.


On “Countdown”, Alexander continues his development as a contemporary jazz bandleader and promise as a composer. The album contains three Alexander originals among the nine tracks, and and covers of compositions by Coltrane, Chaplin, Hancock, Monk, Strayhorn and Wynton Marsalis. (And featured on the album is outstanding drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.)


“Joey Alexander will leave you spellbound and forever changed in your perception of what is possible through the power of music,” Cathy Holbrook, St. Cecilia executive director, said in supplied material.


Oh, and he just happens to be 13 years old.


There will also be a pre-concert reception offered with wine and hors d’oeuvres for $15 per person, as well as a post-concert “Meet-the-artist” reception open to all ticket-holders with the opportunity to meet Alexander and obtain signed CDs of him releases.


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