Facebook Twitter Instagram" YouTube Pineterest Email List
Bio

In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe: Frank Sinatra, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, Ernest Ranglin, Barbara Hendricks, Sly Dunbar, and Robbie Shakespeare, among many others.

Born on D-Day (June 6, 1944) and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, he took his first piano lessons at age six but was largely self-taught. As a teenager, he witnessed concerts by Louis Armstrong and Nat "King" Cole at Kingston's Carib Theater. He formed Monty and the Cyclones in the late 60s and also recorded on sessions with musicians who would later form The Skatalites.

Alexander and his family came to the United States at the end of 1961. Less than two years later, while playing in Las Vegas with Art Mooney's orchestra, he caught the eye of New York City club owner Jilly Rizzo and his friend, Frank Sinatra. Rizzo hired the young pianist to work in his club, Jilly's, where he accompanied Sinatra and others.

His musical collaborations span multiple genres and styles. His projects have been as varied as assisting Natalie Cole in her tribute album to her father, Nat "King" Cole in 1991 (that album, Unforgettable, won seven Grammy awards), performing George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" under the direction of Bobby McFerrin at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and recording the piano track for the film score of Clint Eastwood's Bird, a movie about the life of jazz titan Charlie Parker.

In August 2000 Monty Alexander was awarded the title of Commander in the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican government for outstanding services to Jamaica in his capacity as worldwide music ambassador.

Two collections were released in 2011 that capture the excitement of Monty Alexander's live performances around the world: Uplift, a trio album on JLP Records, and Harlem-Kingston Express on Motema Music. Between Uplift and Harlem-Kingston Express Monty Alexander has officially dominated the US Radio Charts with three number 1 spots, all in the summer of 2011.

Monty Alexander >>

Two Worlds, One Love
MONTY ALEXANDER'S
70th Birthday Celebration:
My Jamaica to Jazz
with guests Tony Rebel, Bob Andy, Pluto Shervington, Duane Stephenson, Etienne Charles & Wayne Escoffery
June 12, 2014
Showtime @ 8pm
Doors Open @ 6pm
Tickets $35 in advance, $35 day of show
Get Tickets
General Admission - Fully Seated
* First Come, First Seated
* Full Dinner Menu Available
* $10 Minimum Per Person, For All Tables
* All Ages
Special offer for American Express Cardmembers to select B.B. King Blues Club events.

American Express Preferred Seating: Available to Gold Card, Platinum Card, and Centurion members. Terms, conditions, and restrictions apply.


Video
B.B. King Brunch   Have a group of 10 or more guests for brunch?   More Information
Saturday Beatles Brunch

Saturday Beatles Brunch

Enjoy An All-You-Can-Eat Homestyle Buffet With STRAWBERRY FIELDS Featuring Former Members Of Broadway's Hit Musical BEATLEMANIA Every Saturday - 11AM-2PM
Saturday Beatles Brunch

Sunday Gospel Brunch

Enjoy An All-You-Can-Eat Homestyle Buffet With The World Famous
HARLEM GOSPEL CHOIR
Every Sunday - 12:30-2:30PM
© B.B. King Blues Club & Grill 237 West 42 St (212) 997-4144