Setup/Gear/Manufacturer of Instruments:

Gold-plated Conn New Wonder II, mouthpiece is a Jody jazz DV NY 8, reeds are Vandoren ZZ 4

Why did you begin studying music?

Originally I was classically trained on my instrument, and began seriously studying jazz music when I was about 16 years old.

Who are some of your influences?

Some of my greatest influences are Beethoven, Brahms, Schoenberg, Charlie Parker, Lee Konitz, John Coltrane, Bunky Green, Lennie Tristano, and Miles Davis.
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Saxophonist Alex LoRe

Located in New York, USA

  • Alto saxophone
  • 18 years of playing
  • Endorsements: Jody Jazz Mouthpieces


Teen Jazz Artist Badge

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Who or what gave you the confidence to pursue music as a career?

Pursuing another career besides music was never an option for me- I’m not sure if you’d call it confidence or not, but I just always knew that this is what I was going to do, and there were no alternatives that ever came to mind.

Who have you studied with?

I’ve studied with Bunky Green, Lee Konitz, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Steve Wilson, James Moody, John Riley, Frank Carlberg, Phil Markowitz, and David Liebman.

What are your thoughts on what it takes to be successful as a performer?

As a performer, you have a responsibility to captivate and draw in the audience that is watching you. Everyone has their own distinct way of communicating, so I think you really have to be comfortable with yourself in order to do this in a performance setting. People will only believe in what you do if you believe in what you do; once the audience is on board with you, as long as the the music is happening, you will almost always have a positive outcome. As a side note, no matter what anyone else says, being a kind and respectful person always wins at the end of the day.

Do you think any other skills are needed aside from the ability to play your instrument well?

Absolutely- continuing the theme from the last question, being kind and courteous is essential in this business. You’d be surprised about how many opportunities come about just because people think you are a good person to be around. Also, the business aspect of music is almost equally as important as the playing part. Because music is such an emotional outlet for all of us, it’s sometimes hard to separate ourselves from the actual “product” of what we can offer to people. If your goal is to play and create music for yourself only, then this wouldn’t apply, but for those who are trying to reach a larger audience, this is essential.

What are some of the things you did before your career as a performer became as successful as it is today?

As a musician in today’s world, you have to be versatile. If you come with the mindset of “I’m going to do this, and this only”, then you will probably have a very hard time making it work for yourself. Up to this point I’ve done quite a few things outside of music, and I can honestly say they’ve helped round me out not only as a musician, but as a human being. Growing up, I worked in my father’s restaurant kitchens until I went away for college. I’ve also worked in a bakery, and I’ve worked in real estate. For me, these have all been character building blocks, as music has never faltered throughout any of it. As a musician, you must always be continually working on your craft and expanding your network by performing, going to shows, etc- discipline, perseverance and humility is the name of the game.

What are some of your goals musically for the future?

Traveling and performing for people around the world is one of my favorite things to do, so I’d like to continue with that. I have goals of composing some larger works for orchestra, as well as further developing my current groups. Eventually, I could see myself teaching at a college or conservatory, so I can hopefully give back to the music community what it has given me thus far.

Who have you studied with?

I’ve studied with Bunky Green, Lee Konitz, George Garzone, Jerry Bergonzi, Steve Wilson, James Moody, John Riley, Frank Carlberg, Phil Markowitz, and David Liebman.

What inspires you to continue to pursue music?

My peers are some of my biggest inspiration. A lot of my close friends are also some of the most incredible musicians I know, and that inspires me every day. Also, music has such a deep impact to those who connect with it, and ultimately I would hope to help people achieve the same feeling that music gives me- a sense of belonging.

Have you ever come close to giving up?

Yes, many times. It’s always the easier option to give up and do something else that will give you more immediate results. But, remembering why I got into music in the first place and renewing my sense of passion for the music has always helped me overcome any feelings of doubt that have surfaced.

What are some of the things you enjoy most about your career as a performer/recording artist?

Performing and recording! I still sometimes have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I get to perform, compose, teach, and record for a living. It’s a dream come true. Also, because every day holds something different, it really helps keep everything exciting and new.

Do you write music? Where do you get your inspiration?

Yes, composing music is one of my favorite activities. Some of my largest inspiration comes from my peers, my mentors, and from music of the past. I love listening to classical music; there is such a vast reservoir of knowledge and beauty to pull from and incorporate into the music we create today. Studying scores has really helped me learn compositional tools and techniques that offer something different when applied to composing music in the jazz idiom.

What was your lamest gig and how did you learn from it?

My lamest gig was playing in a very unorganized wedding band a few years ago. I came out of the gig feeling very down on myself about music, but it helped me realize that while developing my career I’d rather pursue other options of ways to support myself than to continually play gigs like that and lose my love for music.

What was the best?

I’m not sure if I can name a “best” gig per say, but the best ones to me are when no words are needed after a performance between band members- the music said everything that needed to be said. These are the moments that inspire me the most.

Hobbies other than Music:

I would say my passion for cooking almost rivals my passion for music. I find that there are a lot of parallels between cooking and music! Other than that I enjoy swimming, reading, and traveling.

What would your advice be for an up and coming, young musician?

If you’re going to commit, then commit. This is not an easy profession, and at the same time it is one of the most rewarding ones. Learn the history of the music, and with that knowledge and foundation let it guide you into the future. Be consistent, be relentless, and most of all, be honest.

New releases and projects coming up:

Currently, I’m getting ready to release the debut album of my trio on Greg Osby’s “Inner Circle Music” label. Entitled “Dream House”, the record features bassist Desmond White and drummer Colin Stranahan, as well as my friend and former mentor George Garzone. It’s due for release later this year.

Also, I just went into the studio to record with my close friend and saxophonist Lucas Pino’s “No Net” Nonet. Lucas is one of the most in demand saxophonists of our generation, and this band is one of my favorite groups to play in. This will be the debut album of the nonet, and its due for release early 2014.


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Published by Shannon Kennedy

Shannon Kennedy is a vocalist and saxophonist living in Southern California. She is author of "The Album Checklist" and the founder of Teen Jazz. She has been contributing articles to music magaizines and websites since 2004.