Alexa Tarantino is an award-winning, vibrant, young jazz saxophonist, woodwind doubler, composer, and educator. Her “high-octane [performance]” (Jazziz Magazine) and “sharply plotted but gracefully unencumbered straight-ahead jazz [compositions]” (The New York Times) establish her individual voice which shines through and identifies her as a dynamic performer and educator. Tarantino was recently named one of the Top 5 Alto Saxophonists of 2019 by the JazzTimes Critics Poll and nominated as a Rising Star by Downbeat Magazine’s 2021 and 2020 Critics Poll.
She has appeared with a wide variety of ensembles including the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Cécile McLorin Salvant’s quintet and Ogresse ensembles, Ulysses Owens Jr.’s Generation Y and Big Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, and the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, and leads the Alexa Tarantino Quartet. Firefly, Tarantino’s third album for Posi-Tone Records was released April 2021, hitting No. 6 on the JazzWeek charts.
Tarantino is on faculty for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s youth programs and represents the organization as a clinician and educator for various schools, festivals, and workshops. She holds a master’s degree in jazz studies from the Juilliard School and bachelor’s degrees in jazz saxophone performance and music education from the Eastman School of Music.
Alexa Tarantino is a Vandoren Artist and Yamaha Performing Artist.