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Contributor


Alexis French

Composer

Biography

Alexis French began playing the trumpet at the age of 12. His teachers included Charley Davis, John Taber, Jon Papenbrook, Tom Moyer and Mathew Constable, with additional lessons from John McNeil, Bill Reichenbach and Nick Van Dijk. In his last year of high school, Alexis formed the Bluenote Sextet with Josh Boyd and Ed Zuccollo, as well as the Rive Gauche Quartet. Both of these groups went on to win awards for best combo at the Tauranga Jazz Festival in 2000 and 2002 respectively, with Alexis receiving the prize for best trumpet each year.

While at music school, Alexis juggled his academic schedule with numerous gigs and tours, with artists such as Rodger Fox, Deva Mahal, Jonathan Crayford, The Bad Apple Orchestra, blues legend Darren Watson, NZ rock institution The Verlaines, and The Black Seeds. As well as being a sought after jazz and rock trumpet player, his reading skills and command of different styles secured him work with local and national production companies, playing commercial shows such as Annie, Grease, and Evita, as well as the successful Carols by Candlelight series.

In 2007, Alexis returned to Wellington to complete his Honours degree in Jazz performance. In 2008, 2009 and 2011, he held the position of Artist Teacher at the NZSM, taking Jazz trumpet Big-band, small ensembles and Jazz-Rock fusion. While at the school, he held the lead trumpet chair in the NZSM Big-band, whose CD Run for Cover won the Tui for Best Jazz album in 2009. In 2010 and early 2011, Alexis worked for Royal Caribbean International, playing lead trumpet on the Barry and Fran Weissler production of Chicago – The Musical aboard the largest cruise ship in the world, 'Allure of the Seas'.

In late 2011 he returned to NZ where he appeared frequently on the national scene, notably with John Rae’s The Troubles, Rodger Fox’s Wellington Jazz Orchestra where he played lead trumpet and was a featured soloist, The Jac, and Richter City Rebels. He also appeared with Head Like A Hole, Bella Kalolo, The Boptet, Twinset, and Esdra ‘Nenem’ Ferreira.

Alexis plays B&S trumpets and flugelhorns exclusively.


Composed (10)

Aylmer

for trumpet and jazz ensemble


Genealogy

for jazz quartet, 8m


In the world's first summer

for jazz quartet, 7m


Metro

for trumpet and small jazz ensemble


Parc La Fontaine Blues and Greens

for trumpet and small jazz ensemble


Shakshuka

for trumpet and jazz ensemble


The Cut

for trumpet and small jazz ensemble


The Schroon

for trumpet and small jazz ensemble


The Second Fall

for trumpet and jazz ensemble


Up

for trumpet and small jazz ensemble