Alex Anest Trio
Alex Anest is a lifelong guitarist and musician who is fascinated with the endless possibilities of improvisation. He has been teaching, performing, and recording in the Southeast Michigan area since 1996. Over the years he has been a founding member of various jazz oriented groups including the Ann Arbor Guitar Trio, Nomad, Giraffe, and Never Nebula. Since 2018 he has played with Gayelynn McKinney in her McKinney Zone project, which won a Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording. Alex has studied with Miles Okazaki, Chris Buzzelli, Benny Green, Mark Kirschenmann, and Ellen Rowe. He has also appeared on over 30 albums, mostly recorded in Michigan. This second iteration of his organ trio features world class drummer Gayelynn McKinney, as well as renowned organist Jim Alfredson.
The Alex Anest Organ Trio is dedicated to finding exciting repertoire for the organ based group. Original tunes as well as works by the likes of Duke Pearson, Emily Remler, Ernie Krivda, and Herbie Hancock have found their way into the set list. The focus is on working together and connecting with the audience through improvisation, groove, and feel. Music should be fun to listen to as well as to play, and this trio is all about enjoying the music. This is a relatively new group made up of seasoned players. The first iteration of this trio performed at the Blue LLama and Old Town Tavern in Ann Arbor, as well as at Vinoteccca in Birmingham and Cliff Bell’s in Detroit.
One of Detroit’s most accomplished drummers, Gayelynn McKinney has played for renowned international artists like Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Chaka Khan,Benny Golson, Roy Hargrave, Larry Coryell, Marcus Belgrave, Ralphe Armstrong, Roy Ayers, and Geri Allen. She is the recipient of a Kresge Arts Fellowship, a Motor City Music Award and a Detroit Black Music Award. She has performed at the 1996 Olympic Games and at the prestigious Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, and she has entertained the armed forces in Germany and Italy – and via live broadcast to military bases in Afghanistan. Add a Grammy Nomination to her resume and you quickly realize what an exceptional musician Gayelynn is.
Jim Alfredson comes from a musical family. His father earned a living as a professional musician for many years and encouraged Jim’s talents from a very young age. Some of Jim’s earliest memories include pulling on the drawbars of his father’s Hammond B3 at the age of four.
Jim began writing his own songs at the age of eight on a Yamaha organ. A score of synthesizers and multitrack machines followed until he came full circle at sixteen and began lusting after the sound of the Hammond organ once again. Jim has immersed himself in the study of the mighty Hammond B3 ever since, dedicated to uncovering new directions within the deep tradition of the instrument.