Bassist Alex Blake, born in Panama City, Panama, has a revolutionary playing style and technique distinctly his own. He combines innovative strumming, rapid lyrical notations and percussive slaps on his bass to create a unique and compelling sound. Some have called him “an entire rhythm section”.
Alex Blake’s talent is measured by the plenitude of masters who have called upon him over his more than forty-year career for his inventive and passionate playing. In addition to having played with Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Sun Ra, Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, McCoy Tyner, Lenny White, Stan Getz, Harry Belafonte, and the Manhattan Transfer, Alex is a long-time member of NEA Jazz Master Randy Weston’s African Rhythms.
In demand for recording, festivals, concerts and clubs both nationally and internationally, Alex leads his own group, The Alex Blake Collective, comprised of notable, eclectic musicians.
Originally from Panama, Alex Blake became a trumpet player as a young boy before switching to the bass at the encouragement of his father. Beginning with the Ampeg “baby bass,” Alex became immersed in the Latin styles of music, playing salsa, bossa nova and other forms, while developing his signature technique of playing the bass.
In his interview with Christopher Porter of the Jazz Times, he fondly described the launch of his professional career: “I started playing professionally when I was 12 years old, the music I was playing was Latin, I was playing with great percussionists like Kako and Patato.”