Born: March 8, 1977 Primary Instrument: Bass
Hola, and welcome to my website.
My name is Alexi David, and I'm a Composer/Double Bassist/Human. It's been and continues to be, an interesting journey. So here goes...
I was born in Cyprus, and raised in Park Slope, Brooklyn, before the evil stroller Yuppies descended. I got an electric bass when I was ten. The school girls noticed me. So I continued playing. Often they still notice. I had a stunted growth as a young musician due to an interim career as a drug addict, mostly due to undiagnosed Attention-Deficit Disorder. After spending 2 years in rehab at Ayia Skepi in Cyprus, I resumed playing Double Bass (after a hiatus of years) and began performing around the island, debuting my mixture of Jazz and Rembetika music.
I moved back to NYC in August 2005, at the age of 28. I became a full-time college student at The New School, which gave me structure to get my life together. I started learning tunes and meeting musicians. While in school, I did a semester of internship at The Door, a youth center in SoHo for mostly minority teenagers - showing them music as a way out of the harsh inner-city troubles. In school I met most of my most influential teachers and mentors, amongst them: Kirk Nurock, Bill Kirchner, Robert Sadin, Hal Galper, Joe Chambers, Cecil Bridgewater, Henry Grimes and especially Junior Mance.
As a freelance bassist in NYC, my employers past and present have included Nellie McKay (many tours, radio performances, etc.) Terry Waldo's Gotham City Band, the Fat Cat Big Band, Jose James (many Brownswood Recordings and two European tours), Tom Abbott's Big Bang Big Band, and my mentor Junior Mance. I like playing most any style of Jazz - from Dixieland to Free/New Thing. I can also be heard playing anything from Heavy Metal Electric Bass to acoustic Greek Rembetiko Bouzouki. I also newly sing and do some acting when working with Nellie McKay! (including on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion at Town Hall, NYC December 2011.) I play many other instruments, but mainly perform only the ones I've mentioned. I perform anywhere from private events, to clubs, to Lincoln Center.
My signature group is Alexi David's PATRIOT ACT, which fuses Greek Rembetika music with Jazz - in contrasting song , or often in the same song - many being of my own composition. I also play Greek Bouzouki in this configuration. In May 2009 we performed at the Cyprus consulate in NYC in conjunction with Cypriot artists Nikos Kouroussis and Lia Lapithi. The band played once a month at Fat Cat in NYC for some years, and will resume once I finish some other projects. The group's first tour was in Cyprus in June 2011, culminating in a performance at the Aglantzia Jazz Festival, and a studio recording.
I'm also a Charles Mingus scholar. I came up with the idea for an annual Mingus birthday festival at fat cat, which gave birth to Three or Four Shades of Mingus - an ensemble I lead that plays the composer's music, including his most obscure compositions, many transcribed by yours truly through hundreds of hours of unpaid work (the payoff is hearing it being performed live.)
I also lead other jazz groups, exploring obscure compositions by many of Jazz's greats - past and living (sometimes the composer is part of my group...) 2012 mostly consisted of performances of Max Roach's music - transcribed over many months - much of it not having been played since it was originally recorded.
The pool of musicians that I have chosen to play my music have of late mostly consisted of Phil Stewart, Tom Abbott, Geoff Vidal, Stacy Dillard, Josh Evans, Ku-umba Frank Lacy, Yotam Silberstein, Cem Misirlioglu, Asaf Yuria, Steve Carrington, Brandon Lewis, Sacha Perry, Ned Goold, Dan Blankinship, Sam Hoyt, Frank Basile, Max Seigel, Jon Irabagon, Jon Davis [piano], and Darrell Green. I arrange, compose, transcribe and engrave the music - all of which I can also provide as a service. I'm available for my PC, your wedding, Bar Mitzvah, Carnegie Hall...
Aside from music, my life is: research/education, questioning/TRUTH, genealogy/history, restoring vintage electronic audio equipment (mostly vacuum tube amps), and trying to live healthier in general. Beer and laughs are also good. Also, dealing with my own drug-addled past and still-existing ADHD and trying to stay afloat and help others like me do the same. I take great pride in knowing that I have often (and usually inadvertently) helped others become clean of hard drugs. Many have written to me after perusing my website.
Besides satisfying my EGO [instinctive/genetic], my goal is to create POSITIVE CHANGE - for others.
Now if I could just make that first album and do another tour...
-THE CYPRUS MAIL
Alexi is one of the most serious musicians I've met in the last decade. He pulls no punches, his compassion for people and music inspires me. I like his uncompromising spirit and the soul he plays with. Oh yea, Alexi has something special and you can hear life in his music. You can hear the city streets world wide, along with the stink of the subways and the stink of the human race. He transcends all that ! His song is universal and never ending. He's one of my favorites. Can you tell? He'll be around for decades long after the self proclaimed genius types are gone and forgotten. Why? HE LOVES MUSIC AND HE CAN PLAY. Listen for him. Hire him and know he is one of the real ones.
- TIM PRICE www.timpricejazz.com
In my years of association with Alexi David, I have seen how he transforms his instrument and music into a joyful experience for all who are within earshot. His hard work and dedication assure me that he will continue well into the future on a path toward enlightening listeners! Keep up the good work!
- CECIL BRIDGEWATER
.....a fine, professional-caliber bassist and an intriguing composer. He also has an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz history....(a) life experience that makes him wise beyond his years....Highest recommendation.
-Random drunk Fat Cat Patron
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New York, NY