Alexa Tarantino Quartet
feat. Sullivan Fortner, Yasushi Nakamura, Keita Ogawa
This quartet, plus guitarist Marvin Sewell, is the same band that plays with Cécile McLorin Salvant in Orvieto. Umbria Jazz gives the opportunity to these musicians – especially their leader, saxophonist and woodwind doubler Alexa Tarantino – to perform at an important European festival with their music.
Alexa has started an intense career after studies and degrees at prestigious academic institutions such as the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, New York, and the Juilliard School. She has played with Wynton Marsalis (“an absolute excellence” according to him) and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and obviously with Cécile McLorin Salvant. He has played in the orchestra conducted by Ryan Truesdell, who rearranged Gil Evans’ original scores during Umbria Jazz Winter. Her debut album as a leader, “Winds of Change”, came out in 2019, followed by “Clarity” and “Firefly”.
Tarantino was nominated as a “Rising Star – Alto Saxophone” by Downbeat Magazine’s 2020 and 2021 Critics’ Poll and named one of the “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019” by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll. An original composer and a teacher engaged in many music education programs, Alexa Tarantino is a character to be followed with particular attention.