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Monty Alexander

“For the most part, when I play music, I smell it and see colors. Every song has its own personality, its own soul, and if I can’t feel it, I can’t play it with feeling. I don’t understand what it is that makes me different, but I feel I have very little in common with anybody else. I seem to be my own strange character. If I’m right in my motivations and attitude, amazing things happen.”—Monty Alexander, 2010

“I love Jamaica. I love America. I love them both together more than each one separately. I inhabit the rhythmic aspect of both things. I can’t explain why. I do it naturally and joyfully. I am confident and proud and privileged to say that I come from a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic thing. The slogan of Jamaica is like America’s ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ ‘out of many, one people.’”—Monty Alexander, 2014

Fifty-five years after he moved to the United States from Kingston, Jamaica, his home town, pianist Monty Alexander is an American classic, touring the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message. His spirited conception is one informed by the timeless verities: endless melody-making, effervescent grooves, sophisticated voicings, a romantic spirit, and a consistent predisposition, as Alexander accurately states, “to build up the heat and kick up a storm.” In the course of any given performance, Alexander applies those aesthetics to repertoire spanning a broad range of jazz and Jamaican musical expression—the American songbook and the blues, gospel and bebop, calypso and reggae. Like his “eternal inspiration,” Erroll Garner, Alexander—cited as the fifth greatest jazz pianist ever in The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time (Hal Leonard Publishing) and mentioned in Robert Doerschuk’s 88: The Giants of Jazz Piano—gives the hardcore-jazz-obsessed much to dig into while also communicating the message to the squarest “civilian.”

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Albums

Love You Madly: Live...

Resonance Records
2020

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The River Rolls On

Motéma Music
2015

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Uplift 2: Higher

Jazz Legacy Productions
2013

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Uplift

Jazz Legacy Productions
2011

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Been Down This Road Before

From: Been Down This Road Before
By Monty Alexander

Stawberry Hill

From: Harlem Kingston Express
By Monty Alexander

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