Joey Alexander. PHOTO: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images
Indonesian child prodigy Joey Alexander, who has awed crowds with a piano skill beyond his years, was again nominated for a Grammy Award on Tuesday for Best Improvised Jazz Solo.
The 13-year-old was nominated for his take on “Countdown” off John Coltrane’s classic work “Giant Steps,” which appears on Joey’s second album.
Joey has pulled in growing media attention and audiences drawn to the sight of the bespectacled boy who plays the piano with precocious poise and feeling.
He was also nominated for two Grammys at this year’s awards but did not win. The latest awards will be presented at the music industry’s annual gala in Los Angeles on February 12.
Joey is up this year against some of the biggest names in jazz — including Coltrane’s son Ravi Coltrane, who is nominated for a saxophone solo on the collaborative album “In Movement.”
Also nominated in the category are two leading jazz pianists, Brad Mehldau and Fred Hersch, and fusion guitarist John Scofield.
Mehldau, Hersch and Scofield are all also nominated for Grammys for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, competing against works led by another leading pianist, Kenny Barron, and drummer Peter Erskine.
Born in Bali, Joey took up the piano from an early age as he found inspiration from his parents’ collection of jazz records.
With limited opportunities for formal jazz training in Indonesia, he jammed with adult musicians before his parents eventually moved him to New York.
A profile of him on the popular US television news show “60 Minutes” helped bring his last album onto the weekly Billboard chart of the 200 top-selling US albums — a first for an Indonesian artist.