Born on June 25, 2003 on the island of Bali, pianist Joey Alexander originally learned about jazz from his dad, who exposed his son to a variety of classic albums from his extensive collection. At the age of six, Joey began teaching himself to play piano using a mini electronic keyboard given to him by his father.
At nine, Joey won the grand prize at the first Master-Jam Fest, an all-ages competition in Ukraine which included 200 competitors from 17 countries. An invitation from Wynton Marsalis led to his U.S. debut appearance at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall in 2014 where he amazed the audience with his musicality, followed by appearances before the Jazz Foundation of America at the Apollo and the Arthur Ashe Learning Center at Gotham Hall.
Media interest in Joey has resulted in appearances and interviews for The Today Show, 60 Minutes, CNN, The New York Times, and a host of other television, radio and print media. This has fueled a rare level of public notoriety for Joey as a jazz musician, entirely unheard of for one his age, both within the jazz community and among the public at large.
￼His 2015 debut album for Motema Music, My Favorite Things, garnered two Grammy Award nominations for “Best Jazz Instrumental Album” and “Best Improvised Solo” for his performance of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”, making him the youngest jazz artist ever nominated for a Grammy.
Wynton Marsalis says of Joey, “There has never been anyone that you can think of who could play like that at his age. I love everything about his playing – his rhythm, his confidence, his understanding of the music.” Now, as he enters his teen years, Joey takes another step in charting his artistic direction with the release of Countdown.