Biography

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alexa-tarantino-biography

Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Alexa’slovely, ardent way of improvising,” and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions]” (Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times) establish her individual voice which shines through as a dynamic performer and educator.

Tarantino’s performance highlights include prestigious venues such as the Umbria Jazz Festival (with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project), the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Hollywood Bowl (with Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra), the Rockport Jazz Festival (Alexa Tarantino Quintet), Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra), and the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (with LSAT, Earth, Wind & Fire and others). She performs regularly as a leader and sidewoman in a wide variety of ensembles and genres including Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra (holding a weekly residency at Birdland Jazz Club), Cécile McLorin Salvant’s OGRESSE, LSAT (her new quintet co-led with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian), and the Alexa Tarantino Quartet.

Tarantino’s recent projects include her new quintet that she co-leads with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian called “LSAT”. LSAT was recently selected as the winners of the Made in New York Jazz Competition, where they performed with Randy Brecker, John Patitucci, and more. The two award-winning saxophonists have fused with a dynamic rhythm section that propels their music to new heights. LSAT presents original compositions highlighting the unique combination of baritone and alto saxophone, as well as their own interpretations of favorites from the jazz repertoire. In addition to LSAT, Tarantino leads her own quartet, which was recently featured at Dizzy’s Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Tarantino is an artist on the Posi-Tone Records label. Her debut quartet record on Posi-Tone, Winds of Change, released late-May 2019 featuring Christian Sands (piano), Joe Martin (bass), and Rudy Royston (drums), with Nick Finzer (trombone).

As a composer, Tarantino recently had her work recorded on both Lauren Sevian’s forthcoming release for Posi-Tone Records, and Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s 25th Anniversary Recording presented through ArtistShare (available now at www.artistshare.com). Alexa’s composition work can also be heard on Posi-Tone Records’ Something Blue, Lioness, and Winds of Change.

In addition, Alexa has enjoyed opportunities as an instrumentalist in musical theater, such as performing in The New Group’s Off-Broadway Production of SWEET CHARITY starring Sutton Foster and directed by Leigh Silverman. Prior to SWEET CHARITY, she spent a year with Maurice Hines and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra as part of Hines’ production TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE for the show’s runs in Delaware, Off-Broadway in New York City, and Philadelphia.

Tarantino is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center's Youth Education Programs and directs one of their High School Jazz Academy big bands. Previously, she served as Jazz Saxophone Instructor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Tarantino continues to visit several colleges, high schools, and summer jazz programs across the globe as a guest clinician, including the Rockport Jazz Workshop (MA), of which she is Founder and Director. Rockport Jazz Workshop has expanded in just four years from a five-day program with 7 students to a two-week program with 120 students.

She holds a master’s degree in Jazz Studies from The Juilliard School and bachelor’s degrees in Jazz Saxophone Performance and Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Tarantino is a graduate of Hall High School’s award-winning music program in West Hartford, Connecticut and currently resides in New York City.

Alexa Tarantino is a Vandoren Artist and Yamaha Performing Artist.

Facebook: facebook.com/alexatarantinomusic
Instagram: @alexatarantino
Twitter: @alexatarantino
Youtube: youtube.com/alexatarantino

Alexa's Equipment

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Selmer Mark VI Alto (Silver Lacquer)
Yamaha YAS-82ZIIS Alto Saxophone
Yamaha YAC SN-AE1AG Alto Saxophone Neck
Vandoren V5 Jazz (A35 Tip Opening) Mouthpiece
Vandoren M/O Ligature (Gold-Plated)
Vandoren ZZ Reeds Size 3

Yamaha YSS-675 Soprano
Vandoren V5 Jazz (S35 Tip Opening) Mouthpiece
Vandoren M/O Ligature (Gold-Plated)
Vandoren ZZ Reeds Size 3

Buffet R13 Clarinet
Vandoren M30 Profile 88 Mouthpiece
Vandoren B45 Mouthpiece
Vandoren M/O Ligature (Gold-Plated)
Vandoren V21 Reeds Size 3.5

Haynes Q1 Flute
Rose Gold Lip Riser
Yamaha YFL-A421UII Alto Flute

Haynes Metal Piccolo

K&M Instrument Stands
BAM Instrument Cases

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©2019 Alexa Tarantino / Site by Ellanyze