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Joey Alexander: I Just Happened To Start Early


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When Joey Alexander made his first appearance in the States nearly a decade ago, it seemed to send a kind of shockwave through the jazz world. He was 10 years old when Wynton Marsalis invited him to travel from his native Indonesia (he was born in Bali but moved to Jakarta to pursue his music) to New York to perform at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala. He played a solo arrangement of "Round Midnight." It was incredible.

Alexander subsequently moved to the United States with his family and has been touring and recording ever since. Today he is 20 years old and releasing his seventh solo album Continuance (Mack Avenue). It features his working trio Kris Funn on bass and John Davis on drums along with trumpeter Theo Croker.

Here he talks about his journey out of Bali and onto the bandstand, what it was like for him to be thrust into the limelight at such a young age, what he hopes for the future, and his new record.

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