Surprising is the word that perhaps best describes Grammy® nominated and Downbeat cover artist Thana Alexa, an extraordinarily creative force in music. Her latest album, ONA (self-release, March 2020), which earned her two Grammy® nominations including Best Jazz Vocal Album, was inspired by the cross generational and cross-cultural stories of the immigrant women in her family and evolved into an exploration of the experiences of contemporary women everywhere.
ONA has spawned more female-focused projects: Alexa, together with Grammy® nominated artist, Nicole Zuraitis and bassist, Julia Adamy formed SONICA, a trio that fuses electronics, vocal harmonies, electric bass, keyboards and percussion into their unique original music and arrangements. Their upcoming release - fully produced, mixed and engineered by Alexa - will be out in September 2022. Alexa also created the project Founding Mothers of Jazz in conjunction with MusicTalks Concerts to honor the history of women in jazz, many who are not historically recognized for their contributions because of their gender.
One of Alexa’s most important and ongoing collaborations has been with her husband, five-time Grammy® winner Antonio Sanchez. Together with his band Migration they have recorded three critically acclaimed albums and toured throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Alexa also sings lead vocal in Sanchez's newest project, which features the music of 12 guest artists including Trent Reznor, Dave Matthews, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lila Downs, Thana Alexa and others. The album is set for release on August 26, 2022 under the Warner Germany Music Label.
During the 2020 Coronavirus lockdown, Alexa made headlines as a co-founder of what Rolling Stone called the first “virtual jazz festival” and fundraising initiative, Live From Our Living Rooms. Together with co-founders Owen Broder and Sirintip, the team contracted over 120 artists, raised over $140,000, and helped facilitate grants to over 100 US based musicians in need. Live From Our Living Rooms received attention from Rolling Stone, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the BBC, and more. Live From Our Living Rooms became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2021, with Alexa serving as its Executive Director.
• 2021 Grammy® nominated artist (Best Jazz Vocal Album)
• 2021 Winner - Downbeat Magazine Critic’s Poll Rising Star Female Vocalist
• 2021 Jazz Journalist AssociationNominee for Vocalist of the Year
• Co-Founder/ Executive Director of LiveFrom Our Living Rooms
(raised over$140k for artists during pandemic)
• May 2020 Downbeat Cover Artist
• 2019 Cafe Royal Cultural FoundationMusic Grantee
• Runner up 2014 Made in NY JazzCompetition
• Winner 2011 Jazzon Alpe-Adria International Composition Competition
• 2011 Nominee Best Jazz Composition award by Porin (Croatian Music Academy)
Read more articles
“Each [ONA] track brings a new lens to the female experience: from prophesies disbelieved, to
resistance, to sexuality, to awareness of mother earth herself.” - Forbes
"...a jazz singer with a global perspective..." - The New York Times
"...Thana Alexa stood out, turning a style of scatting that’s become cliche into something entirely
new, evocative, and exhilarating!" - Billboard
"Thana isn't afraid to take risks. Her vocal performances are powerful, vulnerable, joyful, spiritual
and genuine. Her use of rhythm, textures and intricate harmonies is unique and at times, complex.
Sometimes you think you know where she is going, then she SURPRISES you." - Regina Carter,
violinist, recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award and Doris Duke Award
Voice / vocals
New York City
Willing to teach
Intermediate to advanced
• New School University Faculty (2021-present)
• New York Jazz Academy (2016 - present)
• JMI Summer Jazz Camp - Groznjan, Croatia (2018 - present)
• Mark Murphy's Music - South Orange, NJ (2014 - present)
• Langnau Jazz Workshop (July 2015)
• Frank Sinatra School of the Arts After SchoolProgram (2009 - 2010)