Alvin Atkinson, Jr., six-time Jazz Ambassador, drummer, bandleader and Jazz educator, has traveled the globe performing America’s classical music. As an ambassador of jazz, Atkinson possesses the characteristics of a diplomat whether he’s performing in front of a large audience in Saudi Arabia, working with college students in Jordan, or working with middle school children in New York City. Atkinson formed Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants in New York City in 2004. The group combines jazz and blues influences with inflections of various rhythms and melodies from around the world. The group's first recording project, Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants, received nominations for Best International Jazz Song from the First Annual 2007 Toronto Exclusive Magazine Awards and Best Jazz Song from the Seventh Annual Independent Music Awards in 2007 for the composition “Dance of the Emirates.” In 2007 and 2008, Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants, traveled to the Middle East and Russia. In addition to the tours with his own group, Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad Program coordinators selected Atkinson to lead the Rhythm Road All-Stars Group. Native of North Carolina, Atkinson grew up in a musical family where both of his parents performed in touring gospel groups. He attended North Carolina Central University under the tutelage of Dr. Ira Wiggins
Sound Merchants' Virtuoso Jazz Crosses Cultures, Thrills Dubai Audience
Consulate General of the United States
The U.S. jazz quartet Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants performed to
an enthusiastic crowd of
invited guests February 22 at the Dubai Community Theater and Arts Center
(DUCTAC), earning a
standing ovation for their mix of bebop, swing and classic jazz numbers.
Consul General Paul Sutphin
introduced the group, noting that blues and jazz music is a vital US
contribution to global culture, and
plays an important part promoting cross-cultural understanding, particularly
between the Middle East
and the United States
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced
As an educator, Alvin served as the Visiting Professor of Drum-set Studies at the
Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada during the 2004-2005 school year. In addition to
performing, he has taught at
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Middle School Jazz Academy, The Bronx Academy and
The New School for Jazz
and Contemporary Music in New York City.
Alvin works with students on all levels, beginning to advanced.