Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer and educator. She was recently named one of the Top Five Alto Saxophonists in the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll and nominated as a “Rising Star – Alto Saxophone” in the Downbeat Critics’ Poll. Tarantino has played prestigious venues such as Jazz in Marciac Festival, Umbria Jazz Festival, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Hollywood Bowl and many others. She first performed at the Savannah Music Festival in May of 2021 with Ulysses Owens, Jr. & Generation Y. Tarantino has appeared with a wide variety of ensembles including the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Cécile McLorin Salvant Quintet, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and others, and she leads the Alexa Tarantino Quartet.
“[Alexa is] a one-woman wrecking crew, …an indomitable force for expression, education, and absolute excellence.” -WYNTON MARSALIS
Born in Italy and now based in New York, Pasquale Grasso has developed an astounding technique and concept informed not by jazz guitarists so much as by bebop pioneers like Bud Powell, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, as well as the classical-guitar tradition. The sparkling, immaculately balanced tone; the tasteful tinges of stride and boogie-woogie rhythm; the stunning single-note lines that connect his equally striking use of chordal harmony—for Grasso, great solo arranging also evokes Art Tatum. Many serious guitar heads have been hip to Grasso for a while now, particularly after he won the 2015 Wes Montgomery International Guitar Competition. SMF audiences got to see him perform in 2022 with the incomparable young jazz singer Samara Joy, with whom he continues to perform. This is Pasquale Grasso’s SMF debut as a bandleader.
“…the most significant new guy I’ve heard in many, many years.” -PAT METHENY IN VINTAGE GUITAR MAGAZINE
Pianos by Steinway & Sons | A Faircloth Jazz Series Performance