Guest Artist Saxophonist Alexa Tarantino     – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Guest Artist Saxophonist Alexa Tarantino    

Join the Department of Music for a virtual performance by award-winning saxophonist Alexa Tarantino on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m.           

As part of the Guest Artist series hosted by the Department of Music, saxophonist Alexa Tarantino will perform virtually on Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. She will be accompanied by Philip Norris on the bass and Luther Allison on the drums. After her performance, Tarantino will participate in a Talkback discussion with the audience.


Tarantino, a jazz saxophonist, is also a woodwind doubler, composer and educator. The New York Times has called her style a “lovely, ardent way of improvising,” and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions].” She was named one of the “Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019” by the JazzTimes Critics’ Poll and nominated as a “Rising Star – Alto Saxophone” by Downbeat Magazine’s 2020 Critics’ Poll.

She has performed regularly as a leader and sidewoman in a wide variety of ensembles and genres including the Cecile McLorin Salvant Quintet, Cecile McLorin Salvant’s OGRESSE Ensemble, Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y, LSAT (quintet co-led with baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian), Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, Sherrie Maricle & the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Alexa Tarantino Quartet. Firefly, Tarantino’s third record for Posi-Tone Records will be released April 30, 2021. Her previous album, Clarity, peaked at No. 9 on the JazzWeek Charts and landed at No. 54 for JazzWeek’s Top 1— records of 2019.

Previously serving as Jazz Saxophone Instructor at Hobart and William Smith, she is currently on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Youth Programs (High School Jazz Academy, Let Freedom Swing/Jazz for Young People) and represents the organization as a Clinician and Educator for various schools, festivals and workshops. She holds a M.A. in jazz studies from The Juilliard School and a B.A. in jazz saxophone performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music. Tarantino is founder and director of the Rockport Jazz Workshop in Rockport, Mass. and co-founder of A Step Ahead Jazz with pianist Steven Feifke.

Tarantino is a Vandoren Artist and Yamaha Performing Artist. Listen to her perform here and here.