Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Alessi, Ralph (Peter)
Alessi, Ralph (Peter) , trumpeter; b. San Francisco, CA, 5 March 1963. Ralph Alessi began studying the trumpet at the age of six with his father, Joseph Alessi. His mother Maria and brother Joseph are also musicians. He grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where he freelanced as a classical player, playing engagements with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera and Chamber Orchestras. He studied with Ken Saul (1979), Bob Elkjer (1980) and Armando Ghitalla (1981) during this period. From 1985-1989, Ralph attended the California Institute for the Arts, where he studied with Charlie Haden and James Newton. In that time, he received a B.F.A. degree in jazz trumpet performance and a M.F.A. degree in jazz bass performance. During his residence in Los Angeles, he performed with the likes of Bill Perkins, Frank Strazeri and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra.
In 1990, Ralph moved to New York and soon became an active New York sideman.He is currently a member of the Uri Caine Ensemble and Don Byron's Symphony Space Adventurer's Orchestra. In 2004, Ralph will release two new records as well as being featured on an upcoming Fred Hersch release.
As a teacher, Ralph has been a member of the faculties at Five Towns College and the Eastman School of Music. He is currently the founder and director of the School for Improvisational Music, a non-profit entity currently holding improvisational music workshops in and around New York City. In 2002, he joined the New York University jazz faculty as adjunct professor.
He resides in Astoria, Queens with his wife Liz, a bassoonist who appears on Caine's version of Bach's Goldberg Variations.
Downbeat festival best instrumentalist award (1990)
Phew (1994); Circa (1996); Michael Cain-Ralph Alessi-Peter Epstein; Hissy Fit (1998); Vice and Virtue (1999); This Against That (2000)
Recordings as sideperson:
Uri Caine Ensemble: Gustav Mahler in Toblach(1998), Sidewalks of New York(1998), The Goldberg Variations (1999); Fred Hersch: Songs Without Words (2001); Don Byron:
You are #6 (2001); Ravi Coltrane: Moving Pictures (1996), From the Round Box (1998); Steve Coleman: A Tale of 3 Cities (1995), The Way of the Cipher (1996), Myths, Modes and Means (1996),Genesis (1997), The Sign and the Seal (1997), The Sonic Language of Myth (1998), The Ascension to Light (1999); Sam Rivers Rivbea All-Star Orchestra: Inspiration (1999), Culmination (2000); Bobby Previte: The 23 Constellations of Joan Miro (2001); David Gilmore: Ritualism (1999); Lonnie Plaxico: With All My Heart (1994);
Emergence (1999); Andy Milne: Forward to Get Back (1997);
James Carney: Fables from the Aqueduct (1994), Offset Rhapsody (1996); Carola Grey: Noisy Mama (1993), The Age of Illusions (1994)
10 hours of video footage taken in Cuba with Steve Coleman and afro cuba de matanzas (1996)
20 hours of various performances and rehearsals with Steve Coleman (1995-2000)
Radio and Television Appearances:
Bet on Jazz (w/Uri Caine Ensemble 1997)
Bet on Jazz (w/Ravi Coltrane quintet 1998)
Walk Don't Walk (German Film featuring Don Byron 2000)
Magazine and Newspaper Articles:
2002-City Newspaper (Philadelphia)
2002-All about Jazz.com