Aaron Alexander is one of the premier drummers in New York City, a first-call musician on the feverishly creative downtown scene who excels at playing modern jazz and a cross-pollinating pluralistic music based in a klezmer aesthetic that's just too bold and free-wheeling for easy categorization. Whichever style he plays, this technically expert musician originally from Seattle animates his traps with a supreme confidence, an uncommonly rich musical imagination, and an almost palpable passion or tenderness.
Blues for Sparky, Alexander's first feature CD, released in 2003, showcases the drummer's more straight-forward jazz inclinations, his melodically phrased, altogether sublime work, in perfect communion with that of saxophonist Greg Wall, trumpeter Andy Gravish (his credits include Artie Shaw, Buddy Rich and Toshiko Akiyoshi), trombonist Ben Williams (George Coleman, Oliver Lake), pianist Mitch Schechter (Vic Juris, Marty Fogel), and bassist Brian Glassman (Lionel Hampton, Benny Golson).
Based in New York City since 1993, Alexander has involved himself in many high-quality jazz and Jewish music-oriented projects, both as bandleader and sideman. His career highlights to date include touring Europe numerous times with his collective trio Babkas, Hasidic New Wave, among others, supporting jazz-blues great Mose Allison in a week at Seattle's Jazz Alley, driving the Klezmatics with interlocking rhythms at majestic Royal Festival Hall in London, and making his recently released feature album, Midrash Mish Mosh, for the Tzadik label.
Alexander's newest CD "Midrash Mish Mosh" is being acclaimed by critics, musicians and listeners alike. Over the past decade and a half his performances and recordings with Hasidic New Wave, Babkas, The Klezmatics, Greg Wall's Later Prophets, Alicia Svigals, Satoko Fujii Orchestra, Tronzo Trio, Jay Clayton, James Knapp, Margot Leverett, The Flying Karamazov Brothers, Boban Markovich Orchestra and Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars have brought his music to the attention of listeners all over the world.
Alexander has appeared on Prairie Home Companion with the Klezmatics, BET Live with Hasidic New Wave, Sandy Bradley's Potluck with the Mazeltones, performed at LaMama Etc. for several live theater shows, composed music for Dance and conceived and produced Hasidic New Wave's acclaimed collaboration with Senegalese Sabar ensemble Yakar Rhythms. He has received composition grants from the Seattle Arts Commission and Meet The Composer Foundation. His collective band Timebone, in 1990 won an Earshot Jazz award for "Best Acoustic Jazz Group."
Aaron has appeared at many of the top Jazz and World Music Festivals and Venues, including Texaco NY Jazz Fest, North Sea Festival, Vancouver Jazz Festival, Royal Festival Hall in London, Berlin Jazz Festival, Ring Ring Festival (Belgrade), Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto, Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), New Morning in Paris, Lincoln Center, Pepsi Sziget Festival (Budapest), San Francisco Jazz Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival, Moods in Zurich, Krakow Festival of Jewish Culture, Porgy and Bess in Vienna, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and others in Buenos Aires, Latvia, Bratislava (Pressburg), Rome, Milan, Venice and Spokane.
Alexander moved to New York City from Seattle in 1993.
Alexander has worked with James Knapp's Composers and Improvisers Orchestra, Natsuki Tamura, Myth Science, Tronzo Trio, Julian Priester, J. Granelli, Mose Allison, Peter Epstein, Michael Bisio, Wayne Horvitz, Steve Bernstein, Chris Speed, Jessica Williams, John Schott, John Silverman, Charlie Byrd & many others. He is committed to the discipline of improvisation as well as composition.
Alexander has appeared on dozens of CDs and his compositions have appeared on many of them, including CDs by Babkas (3 CDs on Songlines), Hasidic New Wave (4 CDs on Knitting Factory & 1 on Nottwo), Jay Clayton/Jim Knapp Collective(Cds on ITM Pacific and Sunnyside), Freeplay (Unity), Kleztraphobix and his own CDs.
Recorded at Systems 2, in Brooklyn,
Production assistance from J. Granelli & Frank London.
Cover photo by Merceditas Manago-Alexander.
you can see links and more info about Alexander at his website: