Allexa Nava @JazznewbloodALIVE2021 @EFGLJF @WoolwichWorks
We continue with interview series to introduce JazznewbloodALIVE2021 artist line-up.
Meet Peruvian composer and saxophonist, ALLEXA NAVA.
When did you start playing and tell us a bit about your journey with music?
I started playing saxophone in secondary school when they started a symphonic band back in 2013. Later I applied to the junior programme at the National Conservatoire
where I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in music.
I also studied flute and clarinet. I started as a classical musician, but I found Jazz far more attractive and to my style.
Later, here in the UK I found Tomorrow’s Warriors, NYJO and JJJA and being part of these organisations has enhanced my ability as a jazz player.
I started learning flute and clarinet a while ago.
You are originally from Peru, is there a jazz scene in Peru? Yes, there is a jazz scene! Sadly, I never had the full experience of going to lots of gigs or meeting lots of players because when I became interested in the genre I was about to come to the UK.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? I think my mom was my main influence when it comes to what I listened to growing up, so it was mainly Rock and Pop from the 80s and 90s.
Do you try to incorporate your Peruvian roots in your playing and music?
I have already been playing around incorporating Latin music, but not yet Peruvian music as such, hopefully soon.
You are part of several female-led projects like Colectiva or Tomorrow´s Warriors Female Frontline. Do you find differences in working with predominantly female ensembles?
I might feel more comfortable around an all-female group especially if they are people that I’ve known for a while but, music wise and leading wise, no. I would say that if there is mutual respect amongst musicians, there is no difference.
What music are you listening to at the moment? and what other artists inspire you?
As part of my daily listening to Jazz, I love different genres too. I have been listening to songs from Musicals like Hamilton, Heathers and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, some Salsa in-between too, I just love some of the arrangements. Many musicians inspire me, but right now Chris Potter, Mark Turner and Phil Woods. Different things I love from each player, tone, ideas, versatile in genres and how unique they are in their own ways.
You have released 1 single last year, can we expect more new music soon?
Yes! I am working on another tune that I hope to release by December, but you will hear it the 20th, so hopefully you like it.
Also, I have another small project which has the objective to support women in music; through this work I am showcasing my compositions too. They are not available on all streaming platforms, but you can find them on YouTube and Soundcloud.
On Nov.20, Allexa Nava will be performing with Sing Chi Li on piano and keys, Amy Gadiaga on bass, Solomon Kolakale on guitar and Cassius Cobbson on drums.