Today, Joey Alexander, the Grammy-nominated jazz pianist, composer and bandleader announces the release of his major label debut album, WARNA via Verve Records. Slated for release January 31, the album is primarily a collection of reflective, moving new and original music by an experienced and confident musician. You can pre-order the album here.
Translating as “colour” from Alexander’s native language of Bahasa, WARNA follows four Motéma Music albums that garnered the pianist three Grammy nominations and such honors as historic critics’ and readers’ poll victories in DownBeat and JazzTimes. Joining Alexander on the new album are bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Kendrick Scott, who comprise the core piano trio. On select tracks, Venezuelan-born percussion Luisito Quintero, and flautist Anne Drummond, join on to stunning aural effect.
WARNA unfolds like entries in a road journal. Alexander channels what he sees, hears and feels from his travels into his astonishing melodic gift. The track “Downtime” was written by Joey to honor those special moments that occur off the concert stage, exploring new cities or just hanging out with family and friends.
“I wanted to share with people my original work based on my experiences on the road and onstage playing with different musicians, and the musical conversations,” says Alexander of his new album.
Mosaic of Beauty
Tis Our Prayer
Alexander continues to captivate fans and critics alike. His performance at NPR’s Tiny Desk, was heralded by the outlet as “a set that ranks among the year’s finest jazz performances at the Tiny Desk” and his undeniable talent was showcased on a 60 Minutes interview and a Today Show appearance.
Alexander’s live performances have been enthusiastically received, and he just announced a string of North American tour dates that include Washington, DC, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, Toronto, ON, and Denver, CO. Additionally, in July he will have two major overseas dates, in Italy at the Umbria Jazz Festival at Teatro Morlacchi and in the Netherlands at the North Sea Jazz Festival.
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 containing some of Manhattan’s most elite arts benefactors, Alexander amazed the audience with a remarkably lyrical rendition of “’Round Midnight.” A standing ovation ensued, and Alexander hasn’t slowed down since. The following spring, the New York Times wrote in an enthusiastic profile that “For a jazz pianist, the mastery entails a staggering breadth of knowledge about harmony, rhythm and orchestration, all converging in an eloquent synthesis. Joey Alexander has a handle on a good deal of that.” From there, he went on to receive three Grammy nominations, with two of Alexander’s four previous albums topping the Billboard Jazz Albums chart.