Alex Guilbert has been a mainstay as a sideman, leader and soloist in the Seattle jazz and swing scene for over a quarter century. Alex has omnivorous musical tastes, but is also a serious student of both early and modern jazz. He’s spent plenty of time energizing lindy hoppers and balboa dancers, but also exploring bebop, modern jazz and beyond. Sit down for an hour with Alex behind the piano and you’ll experience a journey, from the stride piano of James P. Johnson and Fats Waller to the modern, maybe even an original or two…wait, is that an Outkast song? Yeah… I think it is!
On February 17th, hear the stunning music of Mary Lou Williams and Thelonious Monk, performed by some of Seattle’s best jazz pianists.
One of the early innovators of Jazz piano, Mary Lou Williams defied being categorized and always pushed forward. Her New York apartment became a haven for many younger players, and the master was generous with her support and instruction-one of those younger players was Thelonious Monk, who became one of the most original and innovative voices in Jazz.
The Piano Starts Here series highlights the work of some of the most prolific and talented composers and pianists to have ever tackled the instrument. Each of the performances brings together Seattle’s finest pianists to perform the works of the artist selected for that evening on the Royal Room’s Steinway B grand piano.
Alex Guilbert, host of the Piano Starts Here series, has been playing and composing music professionally as part of the Seattle scene for more than 20 years. Although he’s got a firm grounding in the jazz tradition, he’s been a side man and leader in ensembles of many different styles. From traditional jazz and rock to electronica and classical, Alex’s appreciation for a range of musical genres continues to inform and inspire his work.