Jazz Great Monty Alexander For West Coast Performance

M_AlexanderB&W_By_Peter Rickards

CaribPR, New York, NY, Fri. June 17, 2011:  With his latest album, “Uplift,” in the number one spot for a second consecutive week on US Jazz Radio, jazz great Monty Alexander will continue to celebrate his 50th year in music with performances on the West Coast later this month.

Alexander, who has won raving reviews for his latest album from The Wall Street Journal, The London Evening Standard and Jazz Times to name a few, will play Yoshi Jazz Club in the Fillmore district of San Francisco, California on June 22nd and Anthology, San Diego’s acclaimed new live music venue, on June 23rd.

“This engagement continues my series of concerts to mark my 50th year in music,” commented Alexander. “It gives me a special opportunity to look back musically to 1961 and my first jobs in Kingston, Jamaica, with my first group, Monty and the Cyclones and the recordings I did for Coxsone Dodd and Duke Reed. I also look forward to reflecting musically on adventures I had through the years with, among others, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Quincy Jones, Ray Brown and other legends of Jazz.”

Show time at Yoshi’s on Wednesday June 22nd is at 8 pm and show time at Anthology on Thursday June 23rd is at 7:30 pm Tickets can be obtained for the Yoshi San Francisco Jazz performance by logging on to http://www.yoshis.com/sanfrancisco/jazzclub/artist/show/1874 and for Anthology on June 23rd at http://artists.anthologysd.com/jazz-pianist/monty-alexander-trio-june-23-2011/

From California, Alexander, whose album has been called “a joy” by Jazz Times, will move on to Colorado for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass on June 24 and a tour of Europe from June 27th to July 27th. 

The performance will come following Alexander’s return appearance in New York City from June 14th-19th at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center. Alexander and The Harlem Kingston Express will perform two shows there at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. nightly. For more on this event log on to http://jalc.org/dccc/bydate_fall09_final.asp.

The Jamaican-born Commander of Distinction, dubbed “a masterly pianist who delights audiences everywhere” by the London Evening Standard, recently wrapped up a performance at the first annual Reggae Jazz Fusion show on May 22, 2011 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida and received the honor of having May 22, 2011 proclaimed Monty Alexander Day in Broward County, Florida by Commissioner Dale Holness.

The ‘Uplift’ album from Alexander and Jazz Legacy Productions includes such pieces as “Come Fly With Me,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Body and Soul” and “Home.” It will be preceded by “MOTÉMA: Monty Alexander: Harlem-Kingston Express,” coming soon to a store near you.

Over his stellar career, the Kingston-born musician, who has earned a place among the top five jazz artistes in Hal Leonard’s book, “The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of all Time,” has performed with international stars including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Bill Cosby, Bobby McFerrin, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare.

In fact, it was Sinatra and his best friend Jilly Rizzo who hired Alexander after he moved to the United States in 1961 at the age of seventeen.  And it was at Jilly’s famed New York City nightclub that this Jamaican teen caught the ears of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Milt “Bags” Jackson.

It was Bags who introduced him to the great bassist Ray Brown, and the rest as they say, is history, including Alexander’s 1976 Montreux (Switzerland) Jazz Festival performance with drummer Jeff Hamilton and bassist John Clayton, which has become one of the most celebrated live recordings in contemporary jazz. 

His extraordinary contribution to jazz globally led to the Jamaican government awarding Alexander the title of Commander in the Order of Distinction for outstanding services to Jamaica as a worldwide music ambassador in 2000. 

For more on the Caribbean’s greatest jazz pianist and his music visit www.montyalexander.com.