alex_islesAlex started the playing the trombone in the public school system in Arcadia, California. He went on to attend UCLA, where he received his B.A. in 1983. While at UCLA, Alex received several performance awards and honors, including fellowships to the Aspen School of Music and the David Joel-Miller Award for Instrumental performance. He also played first trombone in the Disneyland Collegiate All-American Band.

Alex is now a free-lance trombonist and educator and teaches low brass at Cal Arts. You can often find him performing with the New Century Players, New Millenium Players and the Jazz Faculty Ensemble. Alex also teaches jazz ensembles and has served as a chamber ensemble coach. Alex has extensive experience performing in a wide variety of musical settings.

Among the artists with whom Alex has performed and/or recorded include: Michel Legrand, Joe Cocker, Henry Mancini, The Tonight Show, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Johnny Mathis, the Pacific Symphony, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick Jr. and Prince. He has also performed on The Emmy Awards, The People’s Choice Awards, and on numerous television series and motion picture soundtracks, including many of the most recent Warner Bros and Disney animated programs.

Alex has toured as lead and jazz trombonist with the Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson big bands. He has performed and recorded with many of the top big bands and jazz groups in the Southern California area including Bob Florence’s Limited Edition Big Band, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, the Bill Cunliffe Sextet, Bob Curnow’s LA Big Band, Gordon Goodwin’s Big “Phat” Band and The Tom Kubis Big Band.

He has also premiered works for solo trombone by Michael Patterson and Carlos Rodriguez. Besides his teaching duties at CalArts, Alex appears frequently as a guest soloist and clinician for schools and organizations throughout the United States, including UCLA, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, US 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, the Disneyland Collegiate All Stars and the Disney Magic Music Days Program. He has also served as a faculty member at California State University Long Beach and California State University Northridge.