A multifaceted performer and educator, Alexander sees musical challenges through a post genre lens. His dramatic array of performance experiences affords him a diverse musical vocabulary that informs his improvisation, arranging, and writing. In any context, he is searching for how to best serve the music and create a listening experience that is fun and engaging.
Hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Alexander Dillon is a Boston based jazz drummer, percussionist, composer and multi-instrumentalist. His practice centers on live performance in settings both formal and casual. No matter the style, serving the music is always at the heart of his philosophy. Alex finds himself in a variety of musical worlds; tackling contemporary classical works with meticulousness, or jazz with a certain amount of spontaneity. By actively seeking out diverse musical projects, Alex has built up a broad musical vocabulary that affords him a post-genre approach to his playing, improvising, writing, and teaching.
Alex’s varied musical interests inform the diversity of the music he performs. He regularly plays in a variety of bands as both a sideman and band leader. In his commercial jazz group, Garden Party, Dillon et al. take a fun and creative approach to playing jazz standards for private events. He is a member of an Americana-focused jazz trio called The Stillpoint which books at breweries around the Northeast. Also well versed in traditional hard bop, Alex also holds down the drum throne as the house drummer at the weekly jam session at The Virtuosity Music Store in downtown Boston. Additionally, he plays regularly with the Lucas Philips Quintet at Wally’s Cafe Jazz Club. He writes and arranges for a more experimental group called AHA comprised of two guitarists and himself on drums and percussion.
Alex has recorded with The Old North, an Americana Blues band based in Boston and has performed numerous musical theatre and cabaret shows. Recently, Alex joined the theatrical percussion ensemble, Ideas Not Theories, for their east coast tour, performing in Philadelphia PA. Alex is also well versed in contemporary classical music. He participated in Longy’s Divergent Studio this past summer and is currently working on new repertoire for Ensemble Uncaged.
Currently the Graduate Fellow for the Jazz and Contemporary Music Department at the Longy School of Music of Bard College, he handles the day to day operations of the department as well as developing programs for the student ensemble performances. He is currently working on producing The L-8 Shift: A Longy JCM Performance Series at The Lilypad. This monthly residency is an excellent opportunity to collaborate with peers, highlight the incredibly diverse Longy community, and bridge musical gaps to work within freer frameworks of jazz, chamber music, improvisation and performance.
Alex was a clinician at the 2019 Annual Jazz Educators’ Network conference where he presented alongside Eric Hofbauer, the Chair of the JCM Department, techniques and ideas for using odd-meters and poly-pulse to create on the spot arrangements of jazz standards. Alex has studied with Neal Smith, Bob Gulotti, Dave Zygmunt, John Piefer and Greg Strohman. He holds a BA in East Asian Studies from Dickinson College and is currently pursuing his MM in Jazz and Contemporary Music Performance from the Longy School of Music.