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Alexa Tarantino(Profile/Biography)

New York, New York, United States
Tory Williams

Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Alexa’s “exquisite soloing that is fresh, inspired, and original,” (Paul Rauch, All About Jazz) establishes 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 sideman 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), LSAT (her new quintet coled 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, Alexa leads her own quartet, which was recently featured at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The Alexa Tarantino Quartet will be recording its debut release with Posi-Tone Records in the Fall of 2018. 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’ forthcoming release, Something Blue.

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, OffBroadway 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 degrees from the Eastman School of Music and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Jazz Saxophone Performance at The Juilliard School. 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.

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