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Home > Alexander Hawkins: Take Five

Alexander Hawkins: Take Five

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Born in Oxford in 1981, Alexander Hawkins is a pianist described as having a ‘wizards’ touch’ and a ‘fierce technique’. He leads his own 6-piece Ensemble, featuring Orphy Robinson, Otto Fischer, Hannah Marshall, Dominic Lash, and Javier Carmona. He co-leads the transatlantic Convergence Quartet, featuring Dominic Lash, Hawkins, American Taylor Ho Bynum and Canadian Harris Eisenstadt; a band which has toured the United Kingdom twice (2006 and 2009).

As a Hammond organist, Hawkins forms one third of the group ‘Decoy’, of which Duncan Heining in Jazzwise wrote ‘this…might just be the best new band to emerge this year…a band that redefine the words “shock and awe”… this is an improvising trio that rocks and swings so hard it’s dangerous…it made me want to dig out all those records, watch those films and set the controls for the heart of the sun. That’s how good it is’. Hawkins also plays in the cooperative group Barkingside,whose eponymous debut album (Emanem) placed in the ‘top ten’ lists in 2008. According to John Eyles in All About Jazz ‘the level of group empathy displayed here is scary’.

As a sideman, he has worked in Evan Parker’s trio and quartet. He is pianist in the ensembles of legendary South African drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo, and well as in the group of the pioneer of Ethiopian jazz and funk, Mulatu Astatke. He also features in Ntshuks Bonga’s Qwati, alongside Claude Deppa, Gail Brand, Greg Bonnie, Oren Marshall, and Mark Sanders. Other collaborations have included with Lol Coxhill, John Butcher, Steve Williamson, Jason Yarde, Ray Warleigh, Alan Wilkinson, Tom Arthurs, Tony Marsh, Will Gaines, John Russell, Steve Waterman, Pete McPhail, Pat Thomas,Eddie Prevost, Francine Luce, and many others. He has worked in the London Improvisers’ Orchestra, the Oxford Improvisers Orchestra, and the Pendulum Big Band; and also plays organ in the funk band Big Train’s Haymaker.

He has played concerts and festivals across the world, including in Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and elsewhere. Domestic performances have included at the Queen Elizabeth Hall; Purcell Room; Symphony Hall, Birmingham; Ronnie Scott’s, The Vortex, and elsewhere.

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