Alex Upton is a saxophonist, composer, and educator with a deeply-rooted passion for jazz performance and pedagogy. Currently residing in the Research-Triangle area of North Carolina, Alex currently performs regularly with several of the regions heralded jazz musicians such as Jim Ketch, Stephen Anderson, Rahsaan Barber, the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra, and more. On several occasions, Alex has also been a featured performer at the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival.
Alex hails from a musical upbringing. Raised by a family of musicians, he pursued musical endeavors from a young age. While in high-school, Alex honed his "chops" under the tutelage of esteemed saxophonist Wally West. In 2019, Alex was awarded the prestigious, full-ride Kenan Music Scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at UNC, Alex has studied and collaborated with renowned educators Jim Ketch and Rahsaan Barber. In 2022, Alex was selected as the winner of the North American Saxophone Alliance's Jazz Saxophone Competition, a prestigious biennial competition featuring the very best undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral saxophonists across the continent. Alex has also performed and premiered original works at the 2022 Jazz Education Network Conference in Dallas, TX. Alex's most recent endeavors have been as a member of the esteemed 360° Jazz Initiative ensemble, where his playing can be heard on the group's newly released record entitled Please Only Tell Me Good News.
When not performing, Alex enjoys teaching and volunteering his time to help other musicians find their voice. In addition to teaching privately, Alex has also served on the faculty of the John Coltrane Jazz Workshop and UNC Summer Jazz Workshop.