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Weathered Wood


Alex Upton is a saxophonist, composer, and educator with a deeply-rooted passion for jazz performance and pedagogy. In addition to leading his own group, Alex has performed alongside heralded musicians and recording artists such as Rahsaan Barber, Rachel Therrien, Jim Ketch, Stephen Anderson, and more. 

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 studied 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, where he completed a Bachelor's Degree in Saxophone Performance (May 2023). While at UNC, Alex further honed his artistic voice, studying under the guise of renowned artists and educators such as Rahsaan Barber, Heidi Radtke, Jim Ketch, and Stephen Anderson.  


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.

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