Loeffler Alumni Series: Alex Hamburger
The Loeffler Alumni Series is sponsored by Robert and Jane Loeffler.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
About Alex Hamburger
Alex Hamburger grew up in the Washington, DC area as the daughter of two accomplished artists, a drummer and a dancer. Her love for music started very early and was furthered with her study at Levine Music with Karen Johnson. After some time away, a few years in New York and one in Switzerland, Alex has now returned to DC and with a sense of urgency and is ready to make some noise. Her debut album, And She Spoke, (released November 2021) brings together a collection of music inspired by the diverse and ever-changing concept of the female voice, featuring original compositions heavily inspired by poetry written through the female voice and personalized arrangements of female-written compositions. Featuring world-renowned bassist Doug Weiss along with producer/pianist José Luiz Martins and drummer Chase Elodia, And She Spoke is “An album whose spontaneity and subtle sophistication reveal new treasures with each listening” (Paris Move). The album’s CD release tour in 6 different US cities was funded by the Jazz Road touring grant, a national initiative of South Arts, which is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation with additional support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Alex lived in Basel, Switzerland for a year in 2018 to participate in the prestigious Focusyear program at JazzCampus where she lived, studied, and played alongside masters such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Seamus Blake, Billy Childs, Guillermo Kien, Dave Liebmann, Jorge Rossy, Norma Winston, and more. The Focusyear band recorded and released an album of original music, Open Paths, as well as toured around Europe.
Currently, Alex is working on a new album recorded in the spring of 2022 with help from Chamber Music America’s 2021 Performance Plus Grant. The grant allowed Alex’s quartet to work with Ingrid Jensen to prepare.They also received additional funding from the Pathways to Jazz Grant, a donor advised fund of the Boulder County Arts Alliance. This new album, What If?, features José Luiz Martins, Chase Elodia, Tyrone Allen II on bass, and Patrick Graney on percussion. It will be released on Unit Records in June.
In January 2022, Alex’s quartet traveled to South America to play in Mercedes, Uruguay as part of the annual Jazz a la Calle Festival and in São Paulo, Brazil at Jazz B. While Alex is starting to make a splash abroad, she is also making headway in the DC area music community, a community she grew up in and she holds so near and dear, by being a 2022 Strathmore Artist in Residence and a 2022 Wammie nominee.
About José Luiz Martins
José Luiz Martins is a Brazilian pianist and composer from São Paulo, Brazil. He studied classical piano at Escola Municipal de Música de São Paulo under the guidance of Renato Figueiredo and Marisa Lacorte, and classical composition with Ricardo Rizek. He was also awarded two full scholarships to do his master’s degree: in Basel, Switzerland at the JazzCampus and a merit-based scholarship at Queen’s College in New York.
José has performed at major music festivals in Brazil, such as Jazz na Fábrica (SESC Pompéia), Santos Jazz Festival, Mimo Festival (Olinda), Festival Painel Instrumental, Festival SESC Jazz and Blues, Festival Jazz a La Calle (Uruguay), among others. He has also played in recitals in tribute to great Brazilian composers such as Gilberto Mendes, Osvaldo Lacerda, Alberto Nepumuceno, and Camargo Guarnieri.
Since moving to the US in 2019, José has played at festivals such as the Mid Atlantic Jazz Festival and the Northampton Jazz Festival as well as venues all over the east coast, including Blues Alley and Keystone Korner. He also has performed in venues and festivals across Europe like Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Brussels, France, Latvia, Spain, Czech Republic, and Switzerland.
His two albums as a leader brought him important prizes and received amazing critical reviews. At the moment, José is working to release a new album with his new trio. He has also recorded 15 albums as a sideman, some of which he also produced.
Join us on February 3rd at 7 PM for our next event:
Young Concert Artist Series: Aristo Sham, piano