Alex Norris grew up in Columbia, Md. where he began studying music at the age of 9. After graduating high school he received a scholarship to the Peabody Conservatory of Music to study trumpet. He graduated from the Conservatory in 1990.
In 1992, Norris moved to New York City to pursue a career as a jazz trumpeter.. Here, he found work with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi's Jazz Orchestra, and Maria Schneider's Band. From 1994-1998, Norris was a member of Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead, becoming musical director in 1998; the final year of Carter's life. Norris has also performed and recorded extensively in the bands of Lonnie Plaxico, Jason Lindner, and with Ralph Irizarry's Timbalaye.
Norris has worked with many noted jazz musicians such as Slide Hampton, Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter, Carl Allen, John Patitucci, Mulgrew Miller, and Brian Blade