NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - “First of all for me it's all about the music.”
“I think you really have to enjoy every moment...if you don't you're not really feeling it"
Don't call Joey Alexander a prodigy.
"My hope is that people will look more to my music than to how old i am.'>
He's 14 years old -- and already a veteran jazz performer.
"For me, i think myself as a musician like everyone else. I try to create I record I compose and arrange.
We caught the two time Grammy nominee before a recent show at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College.
Q/: You've got a pretty cool job... do you feel that way?
“Yeah i always try to get that feel going."
Born in Bali, Indonesia... His father gave him his first keyboard when he was six years old.
"I'm pretty self-taught.”
He learned from his dad... and by listening and playing along to legends.
Like Duke Ellington, John Coltrane... and the unique improvisational style of Thelonius Monk.
"He has that playfulness when he's playing... like Monk he has that child-like. It's fun."
An unlikely path to fame; Wynton Marsalis -- the acclaimed trumpeter and Artistic Director at the Jazz at Lincoln Center -- discovered Alexander from a YouTube video.
"Jazz is an American art form but it has reach around the world. It's an international language."
He's still mastering this musical language, learning to be a bandleader and trying to find time... to still be a kid.
"It's not always music in my head. I watch movie just try to be who i am.”
He is one of the brightest young stars... some of America's oldest music.
This year marks the 100 year anniversary of the first piece of recorded jazz.
Q: / "when you're playing... do you feel a little history of the music... and the piano in general?
“Yeah, that's true.. I feel the history of this music... and this instrument.”
Making people (feel) what I'm feeling, this music.. is how they used to play because it should have that joy and freedom.”