Eric Alexander, one of the premiere saxophonists of his generation, will be heading up an incredible line-up of musicians for the gala
Eric Alexander - “His blowing is extraordinarily articulate and ecstatic, his tone bright and muscular, leadership and inspiration flowing nonstop. Alexander has released more than 30 albums in two decades, and this is one of the most vital.” [Chicago Fire] JazzTimes
"Whatever the mood or tempo, spellbinding notes and phrases flow from Alexander's horn as smoothly as honey from a jar…. Alexander burns when he has to, plays the blues with unfeigned warmth and perception, and generally shows why his well-earned reputation as a musician who always delivers the goods is by no means misapplied.” AllAboutJazz.com
Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander has been exploring new musical worlds from the outset. He started out on piano as a six-year-old, took up clarinet at nine, switched to alto sax when he was 12, and converted to tenor when jazz became his obsession during his studies at the University of Indiana, Bloomington (1986-87). Eric then went on to William Paterson College in New Jersey. He advanced his studies there under the tutelage of Harold Mabern, Joe Lovano, Rufus Reid, and others.
During the 1990s, after placing second behind Joshua Redman in the 1991 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, Alexander threw himself into the whirlwind life of a professional jazz musician. He made his recording debut in 1991 with Charles Earland on Muse Records, and cut his first album as leader in 1992 (Straight Up for Delmark). More recordings followed for numerous labels, including Milestone and others. Eric has appeared in many capacities on record, including leader, sideman, producer as well as composing a number of the tunes he records. In 2004, Eric signed an exclusive contract with the New York-based independent jazz label, HighNote Records where he has amassed a considerable discography of critically-acclaimed recordings, including Temple of Olympic Zeus, Prime Time – a CD/DVD release, and Revival of the Fittest with Harold Mabern. Eric’s album Don’t Follow The Crowd topped the jazz charts in 2011. His albums in the last three years Touching, Chicago Fire, andThe Real Thing have all received critical acclaim. Eric continues to tour the world over to capacity audiences. He can regularly be seen in NYC clubs.