Originally from Philadelphia, Alex Levin has performed in Philadelphia and New York as a leader and a sideman for almost two decades. After studying at The New School with teacher Gary Dial, he transferred and graduated from Brown University in 1998 with a degree in English Literature. From 1998-2001 he lived in Berlin, Germany, where he started his first quartet, The Living Room. The popular band played at numerous clubs and festivals throughout Germany, and gained notoriety for unique interpretations of pop songs by the likes of Bjork and Tom Waits.
Alex has played with multiple vocalists and instrumentalists since returning to New York in 2001. He has appeared at countless upscale venues throughout the city. On occasion, you can also find Alex and his trio performing at smaller jazz clubs in the village and Brooklyn. He has composed numerous pieces, and has arranged music for top vocalists, including the brilliant Paulette McWilliams.
Alex released his first CD of trio music, Night and Distance, in April of 2005. His first run of his CDs sold out within eight months of its release. In October, 2006, he released his second CD, A Reason for Being Alone featuring his own compositions and an expanded lineup of musicians, including saxophonists Stacy Dillard and Max Hacker, and cellist William Martina. His composition “Your Call” was heard in the 2005 film “Parkstories.” In addition, “New Schooled” has been licensed by MTV, and “Emma’s Ennui” from the same CD has been downloaded 8540 times at All About Jazz.com. Levin’s jazz writing has been published in The Saint Ann’s Review. In the summer of 2006, Alex was invited to play as part of the Jazz Composer’s Forum in Asheville, North Carolina, where he presented a special concert of original music.
In 2008, Alex’s trio was invited to be the artist in residence at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. Since then, he has been playing weekly gigs at Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center in Tribecca, where he and his trio perform all-ages shows every Friday evening to a loyal audience ranging in age from 1-80. Originally the band was hired for a month-long residency at the Community Center, but that contract was extended and continues to this day. Always eager to pass along the jazz tradition, Alex invites students under 16 to sit in with the band for a song or two. Besides his gigs at the Community Center, Alex performs regular gigs as a sideman with vocalist Chris Staffel at Bistro Citron on the Upper West Side, and at Abigail’s in Brooklyn as an accompanist to saxophonist Tina Richarson.
His latest release, New York Portraits already released in Japan and scheduled for an American release in October of 2010, has maintained a top 5 slot in sales with a recent ascent to the #1 spot, quickly selling out each week since shipping to Asia.