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Alexa Tarantino

Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Alexa’s “lovely, ardent way of improvising,” and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions]” (Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times) establish her individual voice which shines through as a dynamic performer and educator. Tarantino was recently named one of the “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019” by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll. Her debut album, Winds of Change, peaked at #15 on the JazzWeek Charts and landed at #79 for JazzWeek’s Top 100 records of 2019.

Tarantino’s performance highlights include prestigious venues such as Jazz in Marciac Festival (with Wynton Marsalis and the Young Stars of Jazz), Umbria Jazz Festival (with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project), the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Hollywood Bowl (with Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra), the Rockport Jazz Festival (Alexa Tarantino Quintet), Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra), and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (with LSAT, Earth, Wind & Fire and others). She has performed regularly as a leader and sidewoman in a wide variety of ensembles and genres including the Alexa Tarantino Quartet, Cecile McLorin Salvant Quintet, Cecile McLorin Salvant’s OGRESSE Ensemble, Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y, LSAT (quintet co-led with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian), Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra.

Tarantino leads her own quartet, which was featured at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland Jazz Theater, Jazz Standard, and Times Square. Tarantino is an artist on the Posi-Tone Records label. She recently released her second bandleader record with Posi-Tone Records, Clarity, featuring Steven Feifke (piano), Rudy Royston (drums), and Joe Martin (bass). Her debut quartet record on Posi-Tone, Winds of Change, released late-May 2019 featuring Christian Sands (piano), Joe Martin (bass), and Rudy Royston (drums), with Nick Finzer (trombone). Tarantino’s other recent projects include her quintet that she co-leads with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian called “LSAT.” LSAT was selected as the winners of the Made in New York Jazz Competition, where they performed with Randy Brecker, John Patitucci, and more. The two award- winning saxophonists have fused with a dynamic rhythm section that propels their music to new heights. LSAT presents original compositions highlighting the unique combination of baritone and alto saxophone, as well as their own interpretations of favorites from the jazz repertoire. LSAT recently headlined at the Jazz Educators Network Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.

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“It is time we stop referring to saxophonist Alexa Tarantino as one of the “on the rise” young starts in jazz. She has arrived, and by the sounds of things, she is here to stay. [...] While the pieces are well-crafted, and the playing exquisite, the most memorable melodies are more contained within the probing, image conjuring solos provided by Tarantino.” • All About Jazz on Winds of Change • Paul Rauch • June 10, 2019

“Coming at her music with an impressive embrace of style and tradition, and blending a natural youthful inquisitiveness and confidence to make the music her own, saxophonist-flautist and full- of-flair composer Alexa Tarantino (...) makes big strides towards the limelight on her Posi-Tone Records debut as leader with the restorative and percolating Winds of Change.” • All About Jazz • Mike Jurkovic • August 8, 2019

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Primary Instrument

Saxophone, alto

Credentials/Background

all levels

Clinic/Workshop Information

all levels

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Album Discography

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Swings Broadway

Diva Records
2022

buy

Ghost Song

Nonesuch Records
2022

buy

Kinetic

Outside in Music
2021

buy

Firefly

Posi-Tone Records
2021

buy

Soul Conversations

Outside in Music
2021

buy

Kimbrough

Newvelle Records
2021

buy

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