Alex Laurenzi is a saxophonist, composer, and arranger from Mountain Lakes, NJ. He grew up in a musical home, where his mother and two sisters played classical piano, guitar, violin, and sang, but after beginning alto saxophone at the age of 9, he quickly found his way to jazz. Thanks to the advice of his school band teacher Joao Goncalves, Alex started studying privately with Jim Saltzman at age 10, with whom he would study saxophone and composition until graduating from high school.
At 20 years old, Alex has performed with major artists, including Christian McBride, Wynton Marsalis, Archie Shepp, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Gerald Clayton, Ambrose Akinmusire, Walter Smith III, Danilo Perez, Billy Childs, Joe Lovano, Andra Day, David Sanborn, Wycliffe Gordon, Jose James, Al Jarreau, Sheila E. and many more. He was a member of the Jazz House Kids program for six years and the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Jazz Program for three years, working with teachers such as Mike Lee, Bruce Williams, Oscar Perez, Ted Chubb, Julius Tolentino, Radam Schwartz, Michelle Rosewoman, and Jeremy Manasia. A current student of African-American history at Princeton University, Alex is an active member of the Jazz Program. He is in the Creative Large Ensemble led by Darcy James Argue, Small Group 1 led by Rudresh Mahanthappa, and studies privately with Ralph Bowen.
His awards include two Downbeat Student Soloist Awards, 2016 for High School Best Soloist and 2013 for Junior High School Best Soloist, two honorable mentions from YoungArts Foundation, and two soloist awards from the Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival. Alex was a member of the 2015 Grammy Jazz Session Big Band, the award-winning Jazz House Kids Big Band for three years, and toured Peru in April 2016 with a select group from Jazz House Kids on behalf of the U.S. Embassy. He has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Vail Jazz Festival, Somerville Jazz Festival, Montclair Jazz Festival and many other venues in the Tri-State Area, both with his own groups and as a member of various bands.
Alex spent this past summer traveling around Europe, first composing in northern Italy under the guidance of Harvey Sollberger and Stefano Sacher and then both performing and studying the history of jazz in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Paris. Leading his own groups since he was 14, Alex is focused on composing and performing original music. He sees his compositions as observations and reflections of both the musical and non-musical worlds around him. Incorporating his love for various styles of music into his compositions and improvisation, he strives to present honest music that emotionally connects with his audience.