Alex's music page: bands, compositions, transcriptions, recordings
I love playing keyboards (and in the past, occasionally singing or clarinet)
in various styles: jazz, funk/soul, classical, salsa, tango, musicals, orchestras, chamber groups, accompanist, rehearsal pianist.
Here's a selection of musical activities, transcriptions, compositions, and MP3s. Skip down to:
Bands / Performances / Recordings
- The Simons Sessions I: jazz performance with Stephon Alexander (sax), Will Calhoun (percussion), Santi Debriano (bass), Mark Whitfield (guitar), followed by discussion of music and math, on roof of Flatiron Institute, NYC. Oct 2, 2020.
- Jazz pianist for after-party for Cooked DOC NYC premiere,
chez Ettinger, Gramercy, NYC. Nov 2018.
- Work with Charnae Betton (vocals):
- plus Thomas Hutchins (sax), Ian Jesse (bass), Clay (drums). Jazz at the Triangle, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NYC. Aug 16, 2018.
- plus x (drums). Mother's day R+B show. Tsion Cafe (formerly Jimmy's Chicken Shack!), Harlem, NYC. May 13, 2018.
- Jazz pianist for pop-up bike show for Vespertine at 81 Hester St, May 12, 2017.
- Salons at Buddy's Room, Red Hook, Brooklyn (2015-2018).
- Sol Food (2010-2015). Funk, New Orleans, latin, soul jazz. Dance music!
Don Glasgo (valve trombone, director), Alex Barnett (keyboards), Dave Ellis (trumpet), Andy Bourke (bass, sousaphone), Bob Sparadeo (drums), and Kaitlyn Sheehan (vocals).
- Hartford JazzFest, June 20, 2015.
- Ayers Brook Goat Dairy, Randolph, VT: July 19, 2014.
- Randolph, VT: July 4 parade, 2014.
- Lake Fairlee, VT: June 14, 2013.
- Collis, Dartmouth College: May 18, 2013.
- Tupelo Music Hall: May 3, 2013 (with the Green Room).
- HOPFEST, Hanover Green: July 21, 2012.
- Tupelo Music Hall, White River Junction, VT: Feb 4, 2012, with guest artist Joe Bowie (trombone).
- Tupelo Music Hall: July 16, 2011, with the amazing
Joe Bowie on trombone (here's the great radio ad for the show!)
- Leverone Field House, Dartmouth employees service party: June 21, 2011; June 19, 2012; June 18, 2013.
- Tuck Mall, Dartmouth alumni reunion: June 16, 2011.
- Dartmouth College, Collis, Convocation party: Sep 20, 2011; Sep 10, 2012.
- ONE Wheelock: May 6, 2011; Oct 14, 2011.
- Salt Hill Pub, Lebanon, NH: Oct 16, 2010 (with guys from Septeto Tipico Tivoli randomly sitting in on percussion: wow!); April 15, 2011.
- Salt Hill Pub, Hanover, NH: June 25, 2010; Sept 11, 2010; March 5, 2011.
- Hotel Coolidge, White River Junction, VT: June 19, 2010.
- Dartmouth College, Collis: senior gala, June 12, 2010; June 11, 2011.
- The Green Room (2011-2014). Regular guest with
this new Upper Valley
jazz, funk, pop and jam band.
Fedor Petrenko (guitar), Chelsea Vario (vocals), Alex Parker (bass),
Andy Koupal (drums); other members David Bowden (drums), Chad Brunet (drums), Chris Hoffman (sax).
- Main St Museum: Apr 20, 2013 (w/ the fabulous Chad Brunet); May 17, 2014.
- Hanover Salt Hill, Halloween parties: Oct 26, 2012; Oct 26, 2013.
- Collis, and Main Street Museum, White River Junction, VT: June 24, 2011.
- ONE Wheelock, Dartmouth College: May 13, 2011; Oct 7, 2011; Nov 11, 2011.
- Fedor & Chelsea's house party: April 23, 2011.
- Molly's Balloon, Hanover, NH: March 31, 2011.
- Bentley's, Woodstock, VT: March 10, 2011.
- Classical chamber music (2012-2017) with string players Barbara Will, Margaret Lawrence, John-Erik Bell, Marcia Cassidy: rehearsing piano trios, quartets, quintets by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Faure, Dvorak, Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, etc.
- Recording session (June 2014) with Chad Brunet (drums), Andy Bourke (bass),
laying down several of Chad's funk/jazz/New-Orleans originals. Maybe this will be released someday?
- Groove Function (Spring 2010). Funk, soul, and more funk.
Instrumental, everyone dancing!
Coleman Bartels (drums), Chris Hoffman (sax), Andrew Lohse (bass), Alex Barnett (keys).
- Gusano (2007-2009). Funk, blues, and latin. Dancing! Weddings, parties, bandstands and venues in the Upper Valley. Dave Ellis (trumpet), Don Glasgo (valve trombone, musical director), Alex Barnett (rhodes keyboard), Scott Douglass (upright bass), Carlos Ocasio (vocals, guitar and congas), Bob Sparadeo (drums).
- Original tracks for the 2009 film Orgasm Inc (composers: Don Glasgo and myself).
Here's the main one that I wrote, with Kaitlyn Sheehan starring on vocals
and Andrew Lohse on bass:
Sex Pill (long and short versions in one file)
(5MB mp3), Jan 2009 at Phil Celia's studio at Carriage Lane, Hanover, NH. With guest Michael Geilich on bari sax.
- Bethel Bandshell, VT: July 29, 2009 (moved indoors to high school due to rain!)
- Collis, Dartmouth: June 13, 2009.
- Wedding, Hartland, VT: Oct 4, 2008.
- Town Green, Rochester, VT: Aug 10, 2008.
- [Hotel Coolidge, White River Junction, VT: Aug 1, 2008 (Eugene Uman on keys, not myself).]
- Hanover Street Festival: July 19, 2008.
- Collis, outdoors, Dartmouth: July 12, 2008, with guest artist Joe Bowie.
- Wedding, New London, NH: June 14, 2008.
- Collis, Dartmouth: June 7, 2008.
- Thetford Town Green, party for daycare center, Thetford, VT: June 1, 2008.
- Hotel Coolidge, dance party, benefit for ACTS/Honduras, White River Junction, VT: May 2, 2008.
- The Camera Shop's empty raw space, Main St, Hanover, dance party, Feb 2, 2008; guest artist Joe Bowie.
- Wedding of Woody Richman and Kathleen, Whitefield, NH: Sept 30, 2007.
Sample song: Gimme Some More (mp3 6MB).
- Every summer Wednesday 6-9pm, outdoor with dancing, Hanover Inn, NH;
thanks to Dick DuMez. June 27 through Aug 15, 2007. Those were the days.
- Wedding, Chester/Grafton, VT: Aug 11, 2007.
- Wedding, Strafford, VT: July 21, 2007.
- Rochester bandstand, VT. July 8, 2007.
- Wedding, Marshland Farms, Queechee, VT: June 30, 2007.
- Wedding, Hartland, VT: June 23, 2007.
- [Hanover Inn, Daniel Webster Room: Feb 9, 2007 (Matt Jensen on keys, not myself),
Feb 23, 2007.]
- Sitting in w/ Gusano, July 2006, outdoors, Hanover Inn:
Watermelon Man (overmodulated, scrappy, latin version)
Cocinando (again, distorted, Fela-style)
- Nancy Tripp vocal jazz: with Andy Bourke, Mike Parker, Dave Cook, and myself.
- Ragged Mountain Clubhouse, New London, NH: July 8, 2012.
- The Fells, Sunapee, NH: July 29, 2012.
- Sitting in with About Gladys, with the fabulous Bobby Gagnier on drums too: Ascutney 50k finish-line party, Sep 30, 2012.
- Jazz duo with Scott Douglass (bass), music for Sergi Elizalde and Helen Hong
wedding reception (August 2008), Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, VT.
- Messing around with latin tunes with Steve Ferraris on conga (2006),
Norwich VT. Sample: Maiden Voyage
- Some solo jazz/Brazilian recordings on fender rhodes (Sept 2006):
Evidence (mp3 1.9MB),
Un Poco Loco
Agua de Beber
So Danco Samba
- Solo classical piano recital, Courant Institute, 13th floor, NYU, NYC
Mendelssohn's Rondo Capriccioso, Chopin's Ballade No.1, and six of
- Patrick Purdon jazz trio a.k.a. "Music Team" (2000-2002).
Patrick Purdon (vocals), John Capello (upright bass), Alex Barnett (piano).
College and party gigs in the Boston/Cambridge MA area. Patrick's excellent
original vocalise on hard bop tunes. Recorded tracks lying around:
- Minor Groove (1998-1999).
Straight-ahead jazz and bebop. Harvard Med School and cafe gigs.
Alan Tenney (sax), Jack Bateman (drums), Al Lau (guitar),
John Capello (bass), Alex Barnett (piano).
- The Barnett Quartet
(1997-1998). Funked-up jazz, Cambridge, MA.
College gigs, Phoenix Coffeehouse, Western Front, etc.
Alan Tenney (sax), Ben Arons (drums), John Capello (bass), Alex Barnett (piano).
- Los Madereros (1998-2000).
Salsa band, casual semesterly latin dance nights
(poster by yours truly).
Based at Mather House, Harvard.
The name can mean either the Mather people or those who work with wood
(conga and vocals),
Rainer Plaschka (electric bass), Hector Arce (trumpet),
Veronica Marie Wissel (vocals),
Juan Gonzalez and Jason Freidenfelds (trombone),
Alex Barnett (piano, director), Lauren Wiebe, Manuela Arciniega...
- Tango duets (pianist), with Florence Jugy (1996-8),
and before that, Joshua Benaim (1995-6). Gigs at Tango Society of Boston,
Museum of Fine Arts, Fogg Museum, Dudley House.
Joshua and I also did some arias.
Also (1997) trio with Aidana Baldassare (voice), David Orca (accordion).
- Other groups and activities. Here's a random selection; there's
some I'm forgetting...
- White River Indie Films Screenplay Winners, stage readings.
Incidental music, piano (2008).
- Dartmouth Mathematics Dept Party (Oct 2007). Performed
Meatball Rag and Kumquat Rag by Pete Winkler.
- Composer-in-residence for Anti-Ad Agency (Pagan Kennedy, Liz Canner,
John Ewing), Somerville, MA (1999). Public service announcements
with an environmental or anti-corporate message.
Occasional jazz piano work with
Gretchen (Elise) Iversen,
- Anger After School Players, Newton, MA.
Accompanying pianist / arranger for children's theater
productions: Charlottle's Web (June 1999),
Tortoise vs. Hare (June 2000), Mything Links (June 2001).
Thanks to Asst Director (and 23 Howard St neighbor) Tara Ahmed for getting me involved!
Dudley House Swing Band, Harvard University. In-house pianist, 1995-1999.
(Directors were Karim Al-Zand, later
- Dudley House Choir, Harvard University.
Rehearsal pianist, bass/baritone (1995-1999).
McGuire, later Stephanie Treloar)
- Dudley House Orchestra, Harvard University. 2nd clarinet (1998).
(Director Christoph Neidhoefer.)
- Improvising pianist for Suicide in Bb by Sam Shepard, performed at
Dudley House, Harvard (Spring 1997).
- Man Is Man, Berthold Brecht, Loeb Experimental Theater, Oct 20-22 1994.
House band: Noah Heringman (guitar, director), Bishakh Som (bass),
Oliver Strauch (drums), Alex Barnett (clarinet).
- Gershwin & Cole Porter song books, opera arias:
Sarah Blood (vocals), Alex Barnett (piano), various May Balls, Cambridge University, UK (1993-1994).
- Classical chamber music, accompanist, audition pianist (1989-1996). Manchester and Cambridge, UK. In Cambridge, MA: Poulenc Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano, Prokofiev sonata for flute and piano.
- Rainbow Charity concert (1990), Didsbury, Manchester, UK.
Mike Faulkner (bassoon), Barney Harford (clarinet), Chloe Harford (cello),
Anna Gidman and Daniel Mullin (violin), Hannah Godfrey (viola),
Jacqueline Williams (flute), Jeremy Houghton (french horn), Anna Lukin
(oboe), Alex Barnett (piano).
Dvorak Piano Quintet, Poulenc Sextet, Bach Brandenburg Concerto,
Debussy Premiere Rhapsodie, etc.
- At Cambridge University: Poulenc Sextet; Faure piano quartet No 1 in C minor; Milhaud trio for flute, cello and piano, etc. (1991-1994).
- Celtic folk, playing tin whistle, with Matw Clubb, Ian Crowther,
etc, Cambridge, UK.
- Grieg Piano Concerto (soloist), with South Manchester Symphony Orchestra,
- South Manchester Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Youth Wind Orchestra,
There are only three of the following that I'm both proud of and enjoy
Tompkins Square Park, Wedding Song for Liz, and Alex's Funk Tune.
I'm also proud of the Orgasm Inc compositions.
The rest are mostly just embarrassing, over-complicated experiments. Enjoy!
- Tompkins Square Park (2018).
- Stop Hazing (2012)
rhythm section), funk for
3 horn lines and rhythm section.
- Sex Pill (2009), vocal funk
(5MB mp3, long and short versions, performed by Gusano).
For Liz's documentary Orgasm Inc.
Composer for solo piano tracks in this film, and co-composer with Don Glasgo
of other Gusano tracks in the film.
- Wedding Song for Liz (2006).
Jazz ballad. Performed live with John Capello (bass) at said wedding, 10/21/06.
Still in the repertoir.
- Flying (2002).
Funk jazz, 6/2 feel, never really worked.
- Alex's Funk Tune (1999). Funk jazz,
still in the repertoir.
- Alex's Tune (1998). Uptempo 3/2 swing.
- Sour Grapes (1997).
Cheesy funk jazz.
- Waltz Fantasy (1991). Classical,
piano solo, unplayable late-romantic slush.
Transcribing is probably the best way to learn any piece, solo, or new
musical style. It is time-consuming but makes you listen like never before.
Since many excellent tunes are not in any Real Books
(including the Latin Real Book),
it's also a necessity.
Most of the charts below were written for various musical groups I've
been involved in. Most of them are not in print to my knowledge.
I hope you find them useful -
please download (they're in GIF, PDF, or PNG formats),
print, and play! You may need to form your own group
to do play some of them.
For the salsa, usually the singer already knew their stuff, so
they don't include the lead vocal part.
instrumental as played by pianist Ruben Gonzalez.
- Mi Tierra, title track of Gloria Estefan's only latin album
(some great musicians on it).
Rhythm section pages 1,
and (squealing) horn section pages 1,
- Para Ti,
from some old Mongo Santamaria LP, probably 1970s. (Apparently I got the
title wrong since I wrote it as Para Mi!...)
- Preso (download mp3 11.5MB)
from excellent Colombian band, Fruko y sus Tesos
(singer Wilson Saoko), started in 1970 and still going.
piano and bass,
- Pedro Navaja by Ruben Blades. Bass pages
Quite a complicated tune to play, and to sing.
- Agua Dulce, instrumental
from Poncho Sanchez album El Conguero (1985).
- Fragments (piano and bass) from great tunes
in album Willie (1974)
by multifaceted Willie Colon.
- Fragments of Descarga de Hoy,
opening Cubanismo's excellent first album.
- Examples of piano montunos from some favourite latin albums:
- Vou Deitar E Rolar
(Quaquaraquaquá), a bossa by Baden Powell,
as performed by the amazing Elis Regina (1970).
Meaning: I'm going to do as I please (laughter). Literally:
I'm going to lie down and roll.
- Butch and Butch
(Oliver Nelson, 1961), as played by Keith Jarrett.
(Carmelo Garcia, 1971, arranged by Mark Levine). Has wonderful Coltrane
quotes that I've indicated in the chart.
- Gone Home (Eddie Harris). Versions from albums My Buddy (1961) and Mean Greens (1966), which do not agree.
- Track #3 from The Revival as played by Cory Henry trio, live in Paris,
at an incredible gig, found here on YouTube. I don't know the name of this song, or if it is an original.
- Un Poco Loco, as played
by Bud Powell (1951), head and vamp.
- Deep in a Dream,
Sonny Clarke version.
- Well You Needn't,
a famous Thelonius Monk tune, is completely wrong in Real Book I
(Berklee students' lazy ears?). This is closer to Monk's various recordings.
- Adam's Apple
by Wayne Shorter, album Adam's Apple (1966).
- Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jericho,
Grant Green version from album Feelin' the Spirit (1987).
- Sacrifice from
Brit-sax Courtney Pine album Destiny's Song (1988).
- Dark Blue
by John Scofield, album Hand Jive (1994).
piano solo (first 5 choruses): pages 1,
- Do Like Eddie,
from the same album.
- Headin' Home
from Joshua Redman's album Mood Swing (1994).
- Chandra, as played by Keith Jarrett. Have to dig this one out, but it's a great jazz head using the "chromatic down shift" version of the 12-bar changes. Good for practise in all keys.
(page 1, 2),
a beautiful tune by Hugo Gutiérrez from 1943.
- I have many unscanned sketches of piano
accompaniments, without a vocal line, from which I would accompany tango singers. These are probably of limited use to others...
- A collection of eight folk jigs
as played and composed by Gary "Fiddler" Matthewson in Bridgend, Wales.
Transcribed from the player himself in 1993, while visiting Matw Clubb.
Alfonsina y El Mar,
a haunting waltz,
as performed by Mercedes Sosa in the late 60s, with an almost tango-like
Danilo Perez made an incredible 4/4 jazz version of this on his first 1993
album: here is my transcription of the start of his piano solo in this song.
- A Foggy Day (George and Ira Gershwin), for 4-part
chamber choir and soprano solo. (Dudley House Choir, March 1996).
Things You Must Hear
- Guyora Katz's Demo Tape (from around 1997):
Here (mp3 files) is
a set of four beautiful, rhymthically and harmonically creative, acid-jazz tracks by Guyora Katz's early instrumental group
(long before he went vocal).
The guy is an amazing keyboard player. I have transcribed many of these solos
(ask if interested).
- My favourite place to hear latin jazz is
Wally's Cafe on a
Thursday night. Where else to you get to hear Berklee professors do
Monk tunes as salsa or mindblowing montunos in 7/4, or
have Danilo Perez sit in unannounced?
Also try Small's and Nublu, in NYC.
- Some mindblowing young stars whose technique and creativity I admire: Cory Henry, Jacob Collier, Domi Degalle, Louis Cole, ...