He's All About The Bass
Alex Claffy strums his way thru the NYC Jazz scene.
Philadelphia native son Alexander Claffy has strummed his way to success in The Big Apple. We recently sat down with him before his next gig at The Django to see what’s in store for the remainder of 2023.
Reserve a table for Sunday, June 4th to experience the Alexander Claffy Quartet LIVE.
MUSICAL TRAINING: Raised by a bandleader and a talent agent, I grew up as a child actor for Nickelodeon and other networks. Then later I began studying at the Clef Club Of Jazz in Philadelphia. After high school I went on to The New School for Jazz, under teachers such as Jimmy Cobb, Ron Carter, Orin O’Brien, Mike LeDonne, and Gregg August. I’ve learned from many masters on the job in New York including: Randy Brecker, George Coleman, Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes and Seamus Blake to name a few.
FIRST GIGS: My first gigs were with my father’s band both in Philly and NYC. I then went onto NY and began to work with Orrin Evans, JD Allen, Eric Wyatt, Stacy Dillard, and then Johnny O’Neal. Many More I’m sorry I’ve failed to mention here!
MY MUSICAL INFLUENCES: There’s two types of music right? Good and bad! I’m into a lot of different stuff these days. But If I had to give top 6 that are always there, they would be John Coltrane Quartet, Miles Davis, Radiohead, Cream, Ahmad Jamal, and Kurt Rosenwinkel.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Yes-Close To The Edge, Beck-Guero And The Sea Change, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartmann, Toninho Horta-Durango Kid, Kurt Rosenwinkel-The Enemies Of Energy.
LATEST MUSICAL PROJECTS: I have a new record with vocalist Michael Stephenson (aka Sonny Step) on it’s way out on the Cellar Live Label. Currently I’m hitting the road with Simon Moullier and his band, and then later next month with The Kurt Rosenwinkel Quintet at the Village Vanguard. A new record where I’m singing and playing all the instruments is in the works!
FAVORITE PLACES TO GO IN NYC: Well ,I love to hang at the Village Vanguard, or 11th Street Bar and hear some great music. Smalls and Mezzrow of course! But when I’m not working you can catch me eating a burger at Corner Bistro, playing some pool, or at a comedy club (lately I really dig “The Stand”).
IN 2023 I HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH: I’m trying to just stay healthy and love life! More band-leading on the horizon for sure, but definitely excited for what activities I have as a supporting artist as well.
WHY I LOVE PERFORMING AT THE DJANGO: Well, I started the jam session there so it always brings about some fond memories. I particularly love the Sunday early sets where the audience is very engaged.