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35 Alexa Tarantino: Firefly

Interview Summary

Alexa Tarantino’s album Firefly is her third recording as a leader in the last three years. But she’s not only busy writing music for her own quartet, she’s been involved with groups like the Jazz at Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Sherrie Maricle & The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, Cecile McLorin Salvant’s OGRESSE Ensemble and Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. 

In this episode, she walks us through the composition process on tunes like “The Firefly Code,” “Surge Capacity” and “Daybreak” while also talking about the unique process of recording during a pandemic. We also discuss the difference between playing in an all-woman group vs. an ensemble where she’s the only female, what changes when you play with people you’re comfortable with on a personal level, and her educational program “The Alexa Approach.” 

The Alexa Tarantino Quartet is rounded out with Behn Gillece on vibraphone, Rudy Royston on drums, Art Hirahara on piano and Boris Kozlov on bass. 

Learn more about Alexa at and check out her album anywhere you stream music

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