Drummer Aaron Alexander is a multifaceted musician known for playing progressive jazz, but also ethnic fusion and modern creative music, both as an accompanist and a leader. He grew up in Seattle and played classical violin in his youth, attending Eckstein Middle School, the Nova Project, and Roosevelt High School, where Waldo King directed his jazz band. Alexander began private studies with Jerry Granelli through Cornish College of the Arts, then enrolled at Cornish, studying with Granelli, Jay Clayton, Julian Priester, James Knapp, and Randy Halberstadt. He attended a jazz workshop at the Banff Centre in 1988, where he encountered Dave Holland, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Anthony Davis, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Pat La Barbera. He studied privately with Gerry Hemingway, Bob Moses, Joe Morello, Victor Lewis, and Mike Clark. Also at Cornish, Alexander performed with Carla Bley, Hadley Caliman, and Marc Seales, among others. In Seattle, Alexander co-founded the group Timebone in 1988, and joined the klezmer fusion group the Mazeltones in 1989.
Alexander moved to New York in 1993, introduced to the New York scene by Brad Shepik and Michael Sarin. He soon became active on the downtown scene with the group Babkas, Klez-Jazz with Burton Greene and Perry Robinson, and the Sun Ra tribute group Myth Science, and by 1996 joined the Klezmatics and Hasidic New Wave with Greg Wall, Frank London, and Dave Fiuczynski. A collaboration with the Serbian Roma group the Boban Markovic Orkestar and work with Natsuki Tamura, Satoko Fujii, Alex Kontorovich, Elaine Hoffman Watts, Mose Allison, Charlie Byrd, Wayne Horvitz, Michael Bisio, David Krakauer's Klezmer Madness, and the Flying Karamazov Brothers are included on Alexander's résumé. His debut album as a leader was the indie CD Blues for Sparky in 2003, followed by Midrash Mish Mosh, issued in 2004 on the Tzadik label. Alexander and Julian Priester are reuniting for future projects. ~ Michael G. Nastos