Born on the island of Bali in the
city of Denpasar in 2003, Joey Alexander first encountered a piano at the age
of six, and was immediately able to pick out the melody of Thelonious Monk’s
“Well, You Needn’t” and other jazz standards from his father’s record
collection by ear. His father, an amateur musician, nurtured Joey’s gift for
swing and improvisation by introducing him to classic jazz recordings and
taking him to jam sessions with seasoned musicians in Bali and Jakarta. From
there, his musical intuition flourished, as did his love of playing jazz.
Learning by listening, Joey’s early
influences include Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans and John
Coltrane, and he has a special affinity for trumpet players including Clifford
Brown, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis and Wynton Marsalis. Despite his lack of formal
jazz training, Joey developed an authoritative technique, and with his depth of
musicality he quickly rose in the Indonesian jazz scene and beyond.