Alex Weitz – saxophone/composer, Angelo D Versace – piano, Ben Hedquist– bass, Gibb Mandish – drums
Saxophonist and composer Alex Weitz began his career in Arizona as a member of the award-winning Tucson Jazz Institute Ellington Band, versing himself in the music of its namesake and the classic repertoire of Count Basie. This foundation in swing distinguished him early on as an artist who knows that, to architect a sustainable future, one must mine raw materials from the past. Tapping the roots of tradition in the Southwest gave him more than enough minerals to sustain his relocation to the Southeast, where he studied at the prestigious University of Miami Frost School of Music. While there, he completed his undergraduate studies in Jazz Saxophone Performance and graduate studies in Studio Jazz Writing, gaining invaluable mentorship and experience as a member of the Henry Mancini Institute Jazz Septet under famed trumpeter Terence Blanchard.
With Blanchard’s encouragement, Weitz strengthened his personal voice, and then some, emerging from the Miami program with an in-depth knowledge of composition that imbues his originals with robust, memorable melodies and structural integrity.
Since graduating, Alex’s primary musical focus has been on performing, composing, and producing music with his ensemble, the Alex Weitz Group. March of 2013 saw their debut release Chroma, and after a long-awaited return his sophomore record Luma is set to be released in March of 2017.
Weitz has been invited to appear at such topflight venues as the Kennedy Center with Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, the Monterey Jazz Festival with the Frost Concert Jazz Band, the Arsht Center with George Benson’s “Inspirations,” the Tucson Jazz Festival with Jimmy Cobb, Gusman Hall with Jeff “Tain” Watts and Dave Liebman, the Azamara Journey as a member of the Journey Orchestra, the Telluride Jazz Festival with the Telluride Youth All-Stars, and numerous local venues with his own group and as a sideman.
In recognition of his excellence, Weitz received DownBeat’s Outstanding Undergraduate Soloist award of 2013, as well as recognition from ASCAP as an outstanding young jazz composer, and in 2014 his original “Song for Peace” was featured as the theme song for the Swedish documentary Bettan’s Taxi.