Alexis Lombre is a professional jazz pianist who is making her way onto the jazz scene. Raised on Chicago’s South Side, she discovered early that the true essence of music is not only about what you hear but, more importantly how music makes you feel. Consequently, she believes that her musical mission is to keep the ‘Soul’ in music alive.
Born an ‘old soul’, Alexis gravitated to the music played in her mother’s Kansas City childhood home. This music ranged from that of jazz greats Oscar Peterson, Shirley Scott, Stanley Turrentine, Eddie Harris and Gene Ammons, to Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The Dramatics, Al Green and Parliament-Funkadelic. Alexis started classical piano lessons at age 10 but because of her attraction to the soulful sounds of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers and pianist, Gene Harris, at age 12 she switched to jazz lessons studying with former Kansas City pianist, Steve Million. At age 13, Alexis began participating in the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s (JIC) training programs which emphasized the importance of learning jazz on the bandstand. She began attending JIC jam sessions and then at 15, received the JIC Kiewit-Wang Mentorship Award to study privately with the legendary pianist, Willie Pickens. Alexis’ training was complemented by attending summer jazz camps at Juilliard, Centrum-Port Townsend and in Kansas City and Louisville. Throughout high school, she participated in the Ravinia Jazz Mentors Program for Chicago Public School students, a program which emphasized the importance of learning jazz from the elders. For 4 years, twice a week she was instructed by Chicago’s top jazz musicians, which again included Willie Pickens. Her relationship with Ravinia afforded her the opportunity to perform commissioned works with pianist and Ravinia CEO, Welz Kaufmann as well as perform tributes to Ramsey Lewis.