September 22, 2017

Piano Prodigy to perform at Purdue University in October

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Joey Alexander Trio will perform at Loeb Playhouse on Oct. 14 at 8 p.m. This performance is presented by Purdue Convocations with support from the Robert B. and Patricia Peyton Truitt Piano Performance Endowment, Purdue Student Concert Committee and the Purdue Student Fee Advisory Board. 

At 7 p.m. join Don Seybold, host of WBAA’s “Inside Jazz,” for a pre-show discussion about the evening’s performance in the Purdue Memorial Union’s Anniversary Drawing Room. 

Prodigy. Wunderkind. Genius. Words intended as praise and ripe with opportunity, but often freighted by expectations and fraught with pitfalls. However, through his preternatural jazz-piano virtuosity, 13-year-old Joey Alexander has found all that matters musically: the sweet freedom of evolving expression. 

Hailing from Indonesia — where his parents exposed him to jazz greats in the womb and his aunt is a pop star — Alexander took up piano as a creative outlet for childhood energy. By age 6, he says, he had “found the keys and felt the sound” of jazz. In 2013, he won the Grand Prix at Master-Jam Fest, an all-ages competition in Ukraine. The next year, a then 10-year-old Alexander performed a Jazz at Lincoln Center gala — on personal invitation from Wynton Marsalis and receiving a standing ovation that The New York Times said made Alexander “an overnight sensation.” Alexander and his family then moved to New York, a home base from which he has performed at jazz festivals in Montreal, Newport, and Copenhagen, in the Apollo Theater, on The Today Show and 60 Minutes, and for Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Alexander is also the youngest-ever Grammy nominee in a jazz category, with a total of three behind his 2015 debut album on Motéma Music, My Favorite Things, and 2016’s Countdown, named after a track by one of his many “teachers,” John Coltrane. 

Tickets are $26 for adults and $20 for children 18 years and younger, Purdue students and Ivy Tech Lafayette students. Tickets are available at the Stewart Center box office at 765-494-3933 or 800-914-SHOW. Group tickets are also available to groups of 10 more. Call 765-496-1977 for more details or visit https://purdue.edu/convocations/group-sales/.

Initiated in 1902, Purdue Convocations was one of the first professional performing arts presenters in the United States. Each year, Purdue Convocations offers the region 30-40 performances of widely varying genres: Broadway-style shows, theater, dance, children's theater, world music, jazz, and chamber music, along with rock, pop, country and comedy attractions. With a vision for connecting artists and audiences in artistic dialogue and for drawing in academic discourse, Purdue Convocations aims to promote frequent exposure to and familiarity with human cultural expression in a multitude of forms and media.

Source: Abby Eddy, Purdue Convocations director of marketing, 765-494-9712, aeeddy@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: Publication-quality photos are available at http://www.convocations.org/press 

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