Alexis Lombre is a professional jazz pianist who is making her way onto the jazz scene. Raised on Chicago’s South Side, she discovered early that the true essence of music is not only about what you hear but, more importantly how music makes you feel. Consequently, she believes that her musical mission is to keep the ‘Soul’ in music alive.
Born an ‘old soul’, Alexis gravitated to the music played in her mother’s Kansas City childhood home. This music ranged from that of jazz greats Oscar Peterson, Shirley Scott, Stanley Turrentine, Eddie Harris and Gene Ammons, to Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The Dramatics, Al Green and Parliament-Funkadelic. Alexis started classical piano lessons at age 10 but because of her attraction to the soulful sounds of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and pianist, Gene Harris, at age 12 she switched to jazz lessons studying with former Kansas City pianist, Steve Million. At age 13, Alexis began participating in the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s (JIC) training programs which emphasized the importance of learning jazz on the bandstand. She began attending JIC jam sessions and then at 15, received the JIC Kiewit-Wang Mentorship Award to study privately with the legendary pianist, Willie Pickens. Alexis’ training was complemented by attending summer jazz camps at Juilliard, Centrum-Port Townsend and in Kansas City and Louisville. Throughout high school, she participated in the Ravinia Jazz Mentors Program for Chicago Public School students, a program which emphasized the importance of learning jazz from the elders. For 4 years, twice a week she was instructed by Chicago’s top jazz musicians, which again included Willie Pickens. Her relationship with Ravinia afforded her the opportunity to perform commissioned works with pianist and Ravinia CEO, Welz Kaufmann as well as perform tributes to Ramsey Lewis.
As a soloist, Alexis performed the National Anthem at the 35th annual Chicago Jazz Festival opening for Jimmy Heath, the Robert Glasper Experiment and the Donald Harrison Quintet. As a bandleader, her group was featured most recently at 2016 Chicago Jazz Festival. Her band has also performed in Chicago at the Hyde Park Jazz Festival, the Bucktown Arts Festival, the Trinity UCC Jazzapalooza Jazz Festival, the City of Chicago’s “Made in Chicago: World Class Jazz” Series”, the Hyde Park Jazz Society’s Sundays at Room 43, the David & Reva Logan Center for the Arts’ Third Tuesday Jazz Series and, in the “Charles Heath Presents: Jazzin on the SouthSide” series.
As a sidewoman, she recently performed at the 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival with the John Douglas Quartet, and at the 2016 Englewood Jazz Festival in Chicago with the Donald Harrison Quartet. In March 2016, she made her first New York City appearance performing with up and coming saxophonist, Emilio Modeste and his quintet. In her hometown of Chicago, she has worked with Charles Heath’s Next Generation Quartet, the Corey Wilkes Quartet, the Rajiv Halim Quartet, the Clif Wallace Quartet, the Ernest Dawkins Quartet, singer Joan Collaso, Mike Avery’s PLAY, Live The Spirit Residency’s Big Band, Afro-Latin bands: Greg Penn’s Crosswinds and Gregory Carmouche’s Pa-Ti, and the Black Ensemble Theater orchestra. In her family’s hometown of Kansas City, she has performed with Marc McIntosh’s Jazz/R&B/Funk fusion band, MoBetta; in the Mutual Musicians’ Foundation house band hosting the historic late night jam sessions; and with Innervision Recording artist, Blair Bryant’s B2 Experience. Since arriving in Detroit, Alexis has performed with the Gayelynn McKinney Trio, RGB Trio, David Greene’s Tribute to Louis Armstrong, Obed Succari’s PanaMO Septet and, the John Douglas Quartet, the house band for the Friday late night jam session at Bert’s Warehouse. She has also played with other internationally known jazz artists such as Pharez Whitted, Bobby Broom, Kendrick Scott, James Carter, and Bobby Watson.
In addition to performing professionally around Chicago, Kansas City, and Detroit, Alexis currently studies with former Jazz Messenger, legendary pianist, Benny Green at the University of Michigan .