Each time jazz musician Joey Alexander opens Spotify, he sees something that most 15-year-olds don’t: his fourth studio album. What’s more, he sees the numbers: 400,000-plus listeners from around the world follow the Indonesian jazz pianist.
The care and delight Joey expresses with each stroke of the keyboard is apparent in his performance of his own free composition, “Eclipse,” seen in an exclusive interview and performance with Joey at Steinway Hall in New York City. Between his utter surrender to the melody and the excitement with which he shares his story, it is clear that when Joey plays, he pours his heart and soul into the music and instrument he loves.
Music has always been a part of Joey’s life. He taught himself piano when he was 6 years old by both listening to his father’s jazz albums and sitting down at the piano to practice playing the notes himself. At 9, he won the Grand Prix at the 2013 Master-Jam Fest, an international, all-ages jazz competition. And when he was 11, he became the youngest jazz artist ever to be nominated for a Grammy. But what’s most important in all of this, he says, is “to enjoy every moment.”
It’s more than talent and dedication that have pushed Joey decades ahead of his peers in his musical career. His passion for jazz, belief in music’s ability to bring people together, and love of storytelling through composition all fuel his playing—and keep him going. Joey’s musical influences and inspiration span decades of jazz expertise, as you can hear in his Inspiration Playlist:
Between his utter surrender to the melody and the excitement with which he shares his story, it is clear that when Joey plays, he pours his heart and soul into the music and instrument he loves.