Jazz piano prodigy to play at Esplanade

Twelve-year-old pianist Joey Alexander, who played at the Grammys (left) this year, will perform in Singapore on May 24.
Twelve-year-old pianist Joey Alexander, who played at the Grammys (left) this year, will perform in Singapore on May 24.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Pianist Joey Alexander, the 12-year-old who has been called a genius by acclaimed American jazz musician Wynton Marsalis and jazz publication DownBeat, is set to perform at the Esplanade Recital Studio on May 24.

Tickets at $168 each go on sale via Sistic next Thursday. According to concert promoters, Greenhorn Productions, about 200 tickets will be available for the performance at the intimate venue.

The Indonesian boy's debut album, My Favorite Things, released in May last year, topped Billboard's Jazz Albums and Traditional Jazz Albums charts.

At the Grammy Awards in February, he was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo for Giant Steps. The awards went to American jazz-rock guitarist John Scofield, 64, and American jazz bassist Christian McBride, 43, respectively.

Alexander also performed his original composition City Lights on the Grammy stage.


  • WHERE: Esplanade Recital Studio, 1 Esplanade Drive

    WHEN: May 24, 7.30pm

    ADMISSION: $168 from Sistic (go to www.sistic.com.sg or call 6348-5555), tickets go on sale next Thursday

Born to parents who are jazz fans, he taught himself how to play on a miniature electric keyboard at the age of six. Alexander, a fan of jazz greats such as Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane and Bill Evans, developed his early skills by jamming with jazz musicians in Bali and Jakarta and listening to records and watching YouTube videos.

At the age of nine, he won the grand prize at an allages jazz competition in Ukraine.

Together with his family, he moved to New York City in 2014. That same year, he made his American debut with an acclaimed performance at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala, at the invitation of Marsalis, the centre's artistic director.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2016, with the headline 'Jazz piano prodigy to play at Esplanade'. Print Edition | Subscribe