Born on June 25, 2003 on the island of Bali, pianist Joey Alexaner originally learned about jazz from his dad, who exposed his son to a variety of classic albums from his extensive collection. At the age of 6, Joey began teaching himself to play piano using a mini electronic keyboard given to him by his father. His musicianship and grasp of jazz fundamentals developed at a remarkable pace, and at age 8 UNESCO invited him to play solo piano for an elated Herbie Hancock during the piano great’s visit to Indonesia. At 9, he won the grand prize at the first Master-Jam Fest, an all-ages competition in Ukraine which included 200 competitors from 17 countries. By 10, he was performing at jazz festivals in both Jakarta and Copenhagen. An invitation from Wynton Marsalis led to his U.S. debut appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall in 2014 where he amazed the audience with his musicality, followed by appearances before the Jazz Foundation of America at the Apollo and the Arthur Ashe Learning Center at Gotham Hall. Wishing to encourage the continued development of Joey’s prodigious playing, his parents sold the family business in Jakarta and relocated to the United States.
Joey experienced a major stroke of luck when he received an invitation from impresario George Wein to perform on two stages at the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival. Over the past two years Joey 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. Along the way, The Joey Alexander Trio has performed at well-known venues and major festivals across the United States and around the globe.
His 2015 debut album for “Motéma Music, 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 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.
His sophomore album “Countdown” showcased Joey’s remarkable development as a contemporary jazz bandleader and promise as a composer. Now, as he enters his teen years, Joey takes another step in charting his artistic direction with the release of “Countdown.” Building upon the swing and improvisational style that made his first project a critical and popular success, “Countdown” is a reflection of the growth and maturity of Joey Alexander as an artist, and a confident next step toward a limitless future.
Bring Your Own Chair. Children age 12 & under are granted free entry to The Freeman Stage for all General Admission performances and must be accompanied by an adult.