Alex Minasian is an American jazz pianist, composer, educator, and impresario based in New York City. He has served as pianist and musical director for iconic jazz vocalists, Little Jimmy Scott and Mark Murphy.
Minasian grew up in Hudson, New Hampshire, and began playing the piano at the age of 4. His first professional gigs, at the age of 14, consisted of backing various Doo-Wop groups, such as, the Jive Five. Inspired by pianists Hank Jones and Erroll Garner, Minasian took up studying improvisation with Boston-area guru, Miles Donahue. He then attended New York University, studying with pianists Don Friedman and Jean Michel Pilc. He went on to get his Master's degree at NYU while teaching piano.
During this time, Minasian studied with Hank Jones, James Williams and Eric Reed.. Minasian spent a season interning in the music department of Saturday Night Live, working closely with another of his mentors, Leon Pendarvis. In 2009, he started performing with iconic jazz vocalist Little Jimmy Scott and his band The Jazz Expressions, and in 2012 became the musical director for the legendary jazz vocalist, Mark Murphy. Also in 2012, he recorded A Beautiful Friendship: Remembering Shirley Horn with Murphy. Minasian also became the leader of a16-piece big band to back singer, actor, songwriter, and musical historian, Billy Vera. Minasian has performed in the country's most famous jazz rooms, such as, Birdland, Blue Note, Yoshi's, Bohemian Caverns, Iridium, Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Highline Ballroom, Village Vanguard, and the Apollo Theater. He has shared the stage with such legends as James Ingram, Arturo Sandoval, The Roots, Marilyn McCoo, Curtis Fuller, Monica Mancini, Sheila Jordan, Janis Siegel, Mel Carter, Lenny Welch and Clark Terry, and with such jazz greats as Brian Lynch, Billy Pierce, Till Bronner, Curtis Lundy, Gary Bartz and Hugh Masekela. Alex has also headlined jazz festivals such as the Rochester Jazz Festival, appearing as co-leader of a trio with Canadian bassist Brandi Disterheft and drummers Dwayne 'Cook' Broadnax and Steve Williams. Minasian and his trio regularly perform at Ginny's at the Red Rooster and at the Kitano. Minasian, Disterheft, and Williams recently formed the Hanky Panky Trio in honor of Minasian's mentor Hank Jones. The trio's first gig using the new moniker was on July 3, 2013 at Joe's Pub, backing Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Theo Bleckmann, Janis Siegel and many other singers at an evening honouring Murphy.