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A Texas native growing up near Denver, Colorado, Alejandro “Alex” Canales traveled around the world playing production shows and backing entertainers who specialized in Motown, Classical, R+B, and rock, while he doubled on flute and clarinet.
Four years later, he decided to study at the University of Nevada, Reno with Peter Epstein. As a graduate teaching assistant, he lectured and graded students while playing in school and local ensembles in Reno and near Lake Tahoe, while he participated in a local outreach program in which UNR jazz students would teach and perform at local Reno high schools.
He also led Duo Brasileiro with Lucas Arizu, playing at The Nugget, Squaw Valley, and the West Shore Cafe. During the summers, he took shorter cruise ship contracts and later recorded his first album as a leader, Bluish Hue, in March of 2014 with professors Hans Halt and Dr. Andrew Heglund, and took a contract on the Celebrity Infinity where he performed at jazz clubs in Reykjavik and Bilbao.
In a short trip to New Orleans, he shared the stage with Soul Brass Band, the historic Treme Brass Band, and even Trombone Shorty. Near Denver, CO he instructed woodwind students for El Sistema Colorado and Music @ Mainstreet while performing with countless bands.
As a versatile saxophonist and woodwind doubler in New Orleans, he performs at Musical Legends Park with Fred Staehle (formerly of Dr. John’s ensemble), the Drinkery with Shan Kenner and James Singleton, along with his own trio and the new Duo Brasileiro. He is also part of the band Sabertooth Swing, which has recently released it’s first album, Extinct Possibilities.
As an international artist, Alex has performed on saxophone at the 2019 Pueblos Blancos festival in Andalucia, Spain and at the Mirajazz club in Porto, Portugal.
Aside from these accomplishments, he's most proud of his students and their ability to create a focused, resonant sound right away...many times even in their first lesson!
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