Johnny Alegre - Biography - Career


Johnny Alegre attended the University of the Philippines College of Music in the latter 1970s, where he studied composition and was a founding member of the U.P. Jazz Ensemble. He studied with the jazz educator Dr. Joseph Howard and pianist Fred Robles, and participated in creative workshops by musicologist-composer Erhard Karkoschka, guitarist Ike Isaacs and composer-scholar Chou Wen-chung.

Alegre is an jazz journeyman whose involvement in bands and studio recording sessions, both as a musician and record producer, spans more than thirty years of Philippine jazz and popular music history and discography. In May 2002, Johnny Alegre formed Manila's premier jazz group, the Johnny Alegre AFFINITY, with bassist Colby de la Calzada, drummer Koko Bermejo, pianist Elhmir Saison and saxophonist Tots Tolentino. Their first recorded work, "Stones Of Intramuros", written by Alegre, was included in the limited edition Philippine jazz anthology CD, Adobo Jazz Vol.1, which caught the attention of the U.K.-based jazz record company, Candid Records. Subsequently, the self-titled album, Johnny Alegre AFFINITY was released in the Philippines in mid-2005 and was re-released in England for global distribution as Jazzhound, capped by two sold-out engagements in London's PizzaExpress Jazz Club with guest saxophonist, Dimitri Vassilakis.

As part of the ever-evolving cultural landscape in Asia-Pacific, Johnny Alegre’s musical projects contribute greatly to an emerging and vibrant jazz milieu. The greater part of 2006 and early 2007 engaged Alegre and AFFINITY before a large and ambitious work, Eastern Skies, an album of original compositions set to the symphonic backdrop of the Global Studio Orchestra conducted by Gerard Salonga. The project was released in 2008 by Candid Records (Philippines) as the long-awaited response to the clamor from fans for even more innovative music from the Manila jazz "superband".

In 2009, a breakthrough trio recording, in which the guitarist-composer is joined by world-renowned American jazz musicians, Billy Hart (drums) and Ron McClure (bass), was released by MCA Music (Universal Music Group), entitled Johnny Alegre 3. The album also marked Alegre's induction into the MCA roster as its first jazz artist from the Philippines.

Johnny Alegre currently completed "Humanfolk", a suite of his world music compositions and the subsequent concept band he undertook with the New York based avant-garde percussionist, Susie Ibarra, together with her husband, drummer Roberto Juan Rodriguez, and Philippine-based musical artists Cynthia Alexander, Malek Lopez and Abby Clutario. The eponymous, collaborative undertaking was released by MCA Music in May, 2011.

Read more about this topic:  Johnny Alegre, Biography

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