On Sunday, October 21, Flushing Town Hall will present Lioness, a concert series featuring women in jazz curated by Convergence Arts, featuring Alexa Tarantino Quartet, a refreshing and engaging ensemble performing original compositions and modern twists on classic standards and favorites.
The ensemble recently performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City and has played the Rockport Jazz Festival (MA) for the past three years.
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 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, 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.
The Alexa Tarantino Quartet performance begins at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $5, and free for members, students and teens. You can purchase tickets here.
What can an audience expect to see at your event?
You can expect high-energy, swinging, and fresh approaches to original compositions and favorites. We have a blast playing together and we hope that is infectious and palpable for our listeners through our musical interactions and positive energy.
Tell us about you!
I picked up the saxophone in the fifth grade after seeing a local performance of talented high school students. I was inspired by a young woman who played a ballad feature. After that concert, I told my parents, “I’m going to be up on that stage too!”. The rest is history…my saxophone has taken me from life in West Hartford, CT to the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), to New York City, The Juilliard School, and to venues, schools, and festivals around the globe. I could not be more grateful to do what I love every single day.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in West Hartford, CT and currently live on the Upper West Side in New York City.
What do you hope audiences experience at your event?
I hope that audiences feel warmth, refreshed, and energized after hearing my band play. I also strive to program performances in a way that pays homage to the masters and to my influences while also furthering my own voice as a saxophonist, composer, and bandleader. My influences span a wide range. And while the program draws from that, our main goal is to provide our listeners with a meaningful, engaging, and positive experience.
What does Flushing Town Hall mean to you?
To me, Flushing Town Hall represents strength in community. This holds a direct parallel to how we operate as musicians and in the jazz community. We are better together! I look forward to my Flushing Town Hall debut and am honored to be among the other programmed artists throughout the season.
What is on the horizon for you?
By the end of Fall 2018, I will have recorded and will be finalizing my debut record for Posi-Tone Records, featuring the Alexa Tarantino Quartet. I look forward to releasing this new music into the world, and hope to take it around the globe to connect with other audiences.
Enjoy this video for a taste!