Legendary Grammy-nominated piano master and Jamaica's Commander Of Distinction, Monty Alexander, along with the magnificent Harlem Kingston Express (HKE) band, are set to lead fans across a musical bridge of Jamaican 'riddims' and American classical jazz in New York City this weekend.
Inspired by the amazing triple gold medal wins in Rio of Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt and on the heels of the conclusion of the Summer Games of the 31st Olympiad, Alexander and the HKE will host a celebration of both musical genres at the popular Blue Note Jazz Club at 131 W. 3rd Street in Manhattan, NY onSaturday August 27th and Sunday August 28th from 8 and 10:30 p.m., respectively, each night.
The two-night, four concert series is sure to get fans of Alexander's blend of infectious jazz rhythms up and on their feet. Tickets for this Jamaican musical celebration in the Big Apple are $30 per person for the bar and $45 per person for a table booking. For reservations book here or call (212) 475-8592.
In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring and bridging the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe and entertainment world: 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, among others.
Alexander today remains an American classic. Born on D-Day (June 6, 1944) and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, he took his first piano lessons at age six, although he is largely self-taught. At 71, he tours the world relentlessly with various projects, delighting a global audience drawn to his vibrant personality and soulful message. His spirited conception, documented on more than 70 CDs, draws upon the timeless verities: endless melody-making, effervescent grooves, sophisticated voicings, a romantic spirit, and a consistent predisposition "to build up the heat and kick up a storm," as Alexander puts it.
In the course of any given performance, Alexander applies those aesthetics to repertoire spanning a broad range of jazz and Jamaican musical expression - the American songbook and the blues, gospel and bebop, calypso and reggae. Like his "eternal inspiration" - Erroll Garner - Alexander is cited as the fifth greatest jazz pianist ever in The Fifty Greatest Jazz Piano Players of All Time (Hal Leonard Publishing) and mentioned in Robert Doerschuk's '88: The Giants of Jazz Piano.' He gives the hardcore-jazz-obsessed much to dig into while also communicating the message to the squarest "civilian."
For more on the Monty Alexander and his music visit him on YouTube or atmontyalexander.com. You can also like him on Facebook at facebook.com/officialmontyalexander or keep up to date on his performance on Twitter at@montyHKE.