Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator.
Tarantino was recently named one of the “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019” by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll.
She has performed regularly as a leader and side woman with the Alexa Tarantino Quartet, Cecile McLorin, Ulysses Owens Jr., LSAT ( the quintet co-led with baritone saxophonist, Lauren Sevian), Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra.
Alexa is an artist on the Posi-Tone Records label, and her debut quartet record, Winds of Change, released late-May 2019, peaked at #15 on the JazzWeek Charts and landed at #79 for JazzWeek’s Top 100 records of 2019. Her second record is Clarity, released in June 2020, which features Steven Feifke (piano), Joe Martin (bass), and Rudy Royston (drums).
She is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Youth Programs, and represents the organization as a Clinician and Educator for various schools, festivals, and workshops.
Alexa holds a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from The Juilliard School and Bachelor’s degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music.
She is Founder and Director of the Rockport Jazz Workshop in Rockport, Massachusetts and Co-Founder of A Step Ahead Jazz virtual workshop with pianist Steven Feifke.
Alexa Tarantino is a Vandoren Artist and Yamaha Performing Artist.
In this episode, we talked about:
- Her solfege project, So You Think You Can Solfege
- Her musical background, and the connection with Music Learning Theory
- Working with baritone saxophonist, Lauren Sevian
- How she developed her own voice
- Being a musician during the pandemic
- Her studio set-up
- Her musical influences
- Future of improvised music post-covid
- and more
So You Think You Can Solfege: Anthropology episode with Chad Lefkowicz-Brown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yl8mBYpbA6s
You can watch the video of this interview (& Subscribe to our channel!) HERE:
Want to show your love and support for the Everything Saxophone Podcast?
Become a Patron! For as little as $2 a month, you get access to behind the scenes Bonus footage, PLUS searchable transcripts from the episodes.
Just go HERE to keep the show going.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
You are very helpful. And. I really do appreciate you knowledge on music…. Thank you….
Thank you, Tyrone
I would love to have a mouth peace
Great interview. I’m listening to her music as I’m typing; wonderful, very hip very modern sounding. Alexa has a real clean sound. A great career ahead of her. Glad to see that she and many other musicians are using creative ways to keep their music out there. Solfège, hmm, worth checking out. Thanks for the equipment segment. I’m struggling with quality sound on my Zoom lessons with my students. Tried to look up the Sennheiser SP10ML, but not available from Amazon, Sweetwater, WWBW, etc. If you know of another source, please share.
Thanks Frank. I looked up her conference mic, and it is no longer available. I looked at BH Photo, which is another great resource for equipment. For my Zoom lessons and small groups online, I use a condenser mic (AT 2035) with the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
Been doing some research and you’re right Sennheiser no longer available. But I did find a similar Yamaha speakerphone. I love Yamaha products so I may go with that.
Thanks for the quick reply
Let us know how good it is
Love Alexa! First she is a CT native and Italian! Two great things in my book. More importantly, I especially liked that she respects the connection between an artist and an his/her audience. It was that very thing that really got me into saxophone when I met and connected with the late great Richie Cole in the 1980’s. We spoke a bit at a concert and played “Laura” for me. That connection is one of my best memories.
Alexa also seeks out that personal connection, too…love it! I watched a couple of her lockdown concerts with Steve and really enjoyed them. And, if that weren’t enough, I learned what “solfege” was (lol!) and she gave a mini 2-5-1 lesson at 3 different levels, which I am going to try.
Alexa is a gem and is brilliant!