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Monty Alexander

In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bill Cosby, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare, among others.

Born on D-Day (June 6, 1944) and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, he took his first piano lessons at age six, although he is largely self-taught. As a teenager, he witnessed concerts by Louis Armstrong and Nat “King” Cole at Kingston’s Carib Theater. These artists had a profound effect on Alexander’s aspirations. He formed Monty and the Cyclones in the late 1950s and also recorded on sessions with the musicians who would catapult Jamaican music to international recognition as The Skatalites (Bob Marley’s first backing band).

Alexander and his family came to the United States at the end of 1961. Less than two years later, while playing in Las Vegas with Art Mooney’s orchestra, he caught the eye of New York City club owner Jilly Rizzo and his friend, Frank Sinatra. Rizzo hired the young pianist to work in his club, Jilly’s, where he accompanied Sinatra and others. There he met Modern Jazz Quartet vibraphonist Milt Jackson, who hired him and eventually introduced him to former Charlie Parker collaborator and legendary bassist Ray Brown. Alexander recorded and performed with the two jazz giants on many occasions. Jazz’s greatest luminaries welcomed Alexander to their “musical fraternity” in the mid-1960s. Among these earliest enthusiasts for his playing were none other than Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Miles Davis.

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January 04, 2019

Dr. Monty Alexander At Birdland On January 15-19 With "Love Letters"...

September 22, 2016

Monty Alexander's Harlem Kingston Express At Scullers On September 30th!

August 19, 2016

Monty Alexander At The Blue Note - August 23-28 With Three Exclusive...

July 06, 2016

Monty Alexander Trio's Historic 40-Year Reunion At Catalina Jazz Club...

June 02, 2016

Monty Alexander's Harlem-Kingston Express This Week At Dizzy's Club...

October 24, 2015

Legendary Jamaican Piano Master Monty Alexander Harlem-Kingston Express...

September 09, 2015

Jazz this week: Monty Alexander, Antonio Figura, the Miles Davis statue...

September 01, 2015

Monty Alexander's Harlem-Kingston Express at the Detroit Jazz Festival...

September 01, 2015

Legendary Jamaican Piano Master Monty Alexander at Jazz At The Bistro...

July 17, 2015

Monty Alexander: Remembering Nat "King" Cole - At Scullers On July 25!

June 06, 2012

Jazz Musician of the Day: Monty Alexander

April 02, 2012

Jamaican Jazz Legend Monty Alexander's Birthday Bash Benefit Concert...

October 26, 2011

Monty Alexander: The Music of Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole - Dec 9-10...

September 02, 2011

Enter the "Monty Alexander - Harlem-Kingston Express: Live" Giveaway at...

August 03, 2011

Monty Alexander Jazz Festival Lights Up Labor Day Weekend

March 25, 2011

Monty Alexander - Uplift (2011)

March 21, 2011

Monty Alexander 50 Years in Music Celebration at the Birdland Jazz Club...

July 21, 2010

Monty Alexander Playing Five-Night Series at Jazz at Lincoln Center

July 07, 2010

Renowned Jamaican Pianist Monty Alexander For Jazz At Lincoln Center

February 14, 2010

Monty Alexander for New York Performance at Birdland: March 2-6, 2010

Photos (71) Slideshow

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Mar8Fri
Monty Alexander Trio
The Jazz Corner
Hilton Head Island, SC
$20
Mar9Sat
Monty Alexander Trio
The Jazz Corner
Hilton Head Island, SC
$20
Apr11Thu
Monty Alexander
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Apr11Thu
Monty Alexander
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Apr12Fri
Monty Alexander
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Apr12Fri
Monty Alexander
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Apr13Sat
Monty Alexander
Blues Alley
Washington, DC

Discography

The River Rolls On

The River Rolls On

Motéma Music
2015

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Uplift 2: Higher

Uplift 2: Higher

Jazz Legacy Productions
2013

buy
Harlem-Kingson Express: Live at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola

Harlem-Kingson...

Motéma Music
2011

buy
Harlem-Kingston Express Live!

Harlem-Kingston...

Motéma Music
2011

buy
Uplift

Uplift

Jazz Legacy Productions
2011

buy
Stawberry Hill

Stawberry Hill

Monty Alexander
Harlem Kingston Express

Videos

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