- Aaron Alexander
Photographer + New Media Artist, Aaron Alexander is lead instructor in the areas of Design | New Media and Photography at Florida School of the Arts where he has taught since 2003. He earned a B.F.A. in photography from Savannah College of Art and Design (1994) and an M.F.A. in electronic art | photography from the University of Cincinnati (2001). His work can be viewed at http://www.aaronalexander.net
New York based Drummer/Composer Aaron Alexander is originally from Seattle, WA, and moved to New York City in 1993.Alexander is a very active drummer in the creative
jazz, traditional and avant klezmer scenes in New York City. He is known for his group Midrash Mish Mosh, and his work with Hasidic New Wave, BABKAS, Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars, Julian Priester, Greg Wall's Later Prophets, Boban Markovic' Orkestar, Jay Clayton/Jim Knapp Collective, Satoko Fujii Orchestra, and The Klezmatics. The drummer Alexander also teaches drums and ensembles at Klez Kanada, Klez Kamp and recently at Yiddish Summer Weimar.
He collaborates with saxophonist/clarinetist Greg Wall in many groups, including Hasidic New Wave (with Frank London, Dave Fiuczynski, Fima Ephron), Later Prophets, Klezmerfest (with Jordan Hirsch, Zevy Zions, Brian Glassman, The Unity Orchestra (with Kenny Wessel, Badal Roy, Alioune Faye, Shai Bachar, Hasan Bakr, and Fima Ephron), and Alexander's groups Midrash Mish Mosh and Aaron Alexander Sextet. The two have also performed as a duo.
Alexander's first band was at Eckstein Middle School with
John Schott- guitar, and Fletcher Beasley - bass, called Mercury.In Seattle he attended Roosevelt High School and was a member of Waldo King's acclaimed high school big band, and jazz choir, with John Silverman - bass, Keith Rea - piano, Colin Williams - guitar, Andrew D'Angelo - lead alto, Pat West trumpet and others. He studied privately with Jerry Granelli and after high school attended Cornish College where he studied also with James Knapp, Julian Priester, Jay Clayton, Randy Halberstadt, and Carolyn Graye. He was invited to join Jim Knapp's Composers and Improvisers Orchestra where he gained valuable experience playing with the great musicians in the orchestra and special guests like Hadley Caliman and Carla Bley. He left Cornish after a year and went on the road with a show band called 5th Avenue, an accomplished vocal jazz quartet + rhythm section who now reside in Las Vegas. He played 5 sets a night, 6 nights a week with them and gained a valuable education in popular music and the life of a working musician. After a couple years he came back to Seattle and devoted himself to creative jazz music. He worked in projects with vocalist Andy Shaw's quartet with Linda Dowdell on piano and Frank Clayton on bass. Shaw and Alexander also played many duo gigs at the Pink Door.Alexander played drums for vocal jazz classes led by Jay Clayton, and other ensembles at Cornish College as a paid ringer. He attended the Banff Centre Jazz Workshop with Dave Holland in 1988 and studied there with Marvin 'Smitty' Smith, Anthony Davis, Muhal Richard Abrams, Julian Priester and met a number of musicians he would later come into contact with in New York. In 1988 Alexander co-founded the group Timebone, along with bassist J. Granelli, trumpeter Arnold Hammerschlag, and alto saxophonist Briggan Krauss. The group made two recordings (only released on cassette) and played many venues around the Pacific Northwest. In 1990 the group received Earshot Jazz's Golden Ear award for Best Acoustic Jazz Group in the Northwest.Alexander also worked extensively with the Jay Clayton/Jim Knapp Collective from 1990 to 1994, and in addition began an association with the klezmer group The Mazeltones in from 1988-1993. In 1992 Alexander worked for several months with The Flying Karamazov Brothers and their band the Kamikaze Ground Crew, led by Doug Wieselman and Gina Leishman, and including Steven Bernstein on trumpet. Alexander received a Seattle Arts Commission Commission to compose music for duo with Briggan Krauss.In late 1992 he got together with Brad Shepik and Briggan Krauss to make the first BABKAS CD for Songlines Recordings. Soon after the release he moved to New York.AlBABKAS continued to record two more CDS for Songlines and toured in Europe, Canada and the West Coast through 1997, when the band stopped working.
In his first few years in NY Alexander worked with J. Granelli's band JEIGH, also with Peter Epstein on alto and Brad Shepik on guitar.He joined Myth Science, with Reuben Radding, Anthony Coleman, Briggan Krauss and Tim Otto. Kai Bruckner Trio - Brueckner - guitar, J. Granelli - bass.Performed various gigs here and there with Chris Dahlgren, Chris Speed, Oscar Noriega, Tony Malaby, Hilmar Jensson...Alexander led a large group called Aaron Alexander's RaggedyTime Band, which included many great musicians, including Jamie Saft, Andrew D'Angelo, Briggan Krauss, Curtis Hasselbring, Mike Sarin, Andrea Parkins, Ted Reichman, Peter Epstein, and special guests John Schott, Anthony Coleman.
Alexander led a quartet with Jamie Saft - keys, Stomu Takeishi - bass, and Cuong Vu - trumpet.
In 1996 Alexander joined Hasidic New Wave, led by Greg Wall- sax, and Frank London- trumpet, and including David Fiuczynski on guitar and Kenny Davis, and then Fima Ephron on bass. The band has made 5 full length CDs and toured extensively.
1n 1996 Alexander began subbing for the Klezmatics, including many tours in Europe, North and South America and recording, tv shows, and theater pieces.
Dave Tronzo invited Alexander to join him on a European tour in fall 1996 and he played with the trio for a year or so - also including Stomu Takeishi on bass.
He has been working extensively with Greg Wall since 1996, with the groups Later Prophets, Klezmerfest, and a wedding band the Simcha All-Stars, the Unity Orchestra (with Badal Roy, Kenny Wessel, Hassan Bakar, Shai Bachar, Fima Ephron, and Aliounne Faye), and in a duo setting as well.
1n 2001 he was invited him to join Frank London's Klezmer Brass All-Stars and has toured and recorded extensively with this group, including collaborations with Boban Markovic' Orkestar (a great Serbian Roma Brass Band).
In 2003 Alexander released a CD called Blues for Sparky which is an all-original jazz CD, featuring Greg Wall-sax, Andy Gravish - trumpet, Ben Williams - trombone, Mitch Schechter - piano, and Brian Glassman - bass.
In 2004 Alexander recorded Midrash Mish Mosh for the Tzadik label, run by John Zorn, and the group included Greg Wall- sax, Merlin Shepherd - clarinet, Frank London - trumpet, Curtis Hasslebring - trombone, Brad Shepik - guitar, Fima Ephron - bass, and Mike Sarin (and Alexander) - on drums. It is an all- original klezmer/jazz/thrash/world music CD.
He has recorded with Alex Kontorovich's Deep Minor, Satoko Fujii Orchestra (6 CDs), Natsuki Tamura, Margot Leverett, German Goldenshteyn, and others.
Alexander was involved with Yiddish Summer Weimar in 2007, including a project with Alan Bern, Alex Kontorovich, Marcelo Moguilevsky, Cesar Lerner, Paul Brody, and Martin Lilich.
In 2008 Alexander collaborated with Frank London, John Schott, Jewlia Eisenberg, Maryana Sadowska, Ari Avital, Glenn Hartman, Stu Brotman and Jessie Ivry in a project call "The Ark: Cyclical Ritual's Part 1: Spring" which was sponsored by the Berkeley Jewish Music Festival, director Elie Shapiro. The project was subsequently invited to perform at the finale of the Krakow Jewish Culture Festival: Shalom on Szeroca. While there Alexander also performed with Christian Dawid and Konsonans Retro, a Ukrainian Brass Band.
Alexander was asked to tour with Boban Markovic' Orkestar, the top Serbian Roma (Gypsy) Brass Band in July for a week-long tour in North America when their drummer fell ill.
Alexander has a duo project with the great jazz trombonist Julian Priester and they will release a CD in late 2008.
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