Bassist Alex Boneham is one of the most in demand musicians of his generation, known for his versatility and relentless creative drive. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Alex has worked extensively worldwide, having lived in Rome, Italy, and Los Angeles, California, in addition to his native Australia. Highlights include performing at the White House with 14x GRAMMY winner Herbie Hancock for First Lady Michelle Obama during International Jazz Day, touring Morocco with Hancock and Dee Dee Bridgewater, and headlining the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl with Herbie and Wayne Shorter.
Alex was named the Bell Awards Young Jazz Musician of the Year in 2012, the national jazz industry award in Australia. In 2015 he took 2nd place in the National Jazz Awards, the major jazz instrumental competition in Australia, in addition to being one of the youngest finalists ever in the same competition back in 2008. He is a featured artist on Sarah McKenzie’s album “Close Your Eyes” which won the ARIA for jazz in 2012 (the Australian GRAMMY equivalent). Back in 2007 he won the James Morrison Generations in Jazz, a major competition for musicians under 19 years old, and in 2009 was awarded a BBM Award, an award given to two artists each year to strengthen cultural ties between Australia and the UK.
As an in demand recording artist, Alex has been featured on over 30 studio records. He appears on albums by artists such as Tommy Emmanuel, UK singer-songwriter Passenger (whose single “Let Her Go” is the 26th most viewed video of all time on YouTube) and ARIA winner Sarah McKenzie. He has also released three critically-acclaimed albums with the Australian co-led group The Vampires - Chellowdene (2010), Garfish (2012), and Tiro (2013).
In addition to his performances at the White House, Hollywood Bowl, and in Morocco, Alex has performed at countless major festivals around the world including the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), Melbourne International Jazz Festival (Australia), Bangen Jazz Festival (Sweden), and notable venues such as the Sydney Opera House, the Kennedy Centre (D.C.) with revolutionary vocalist Al Jarreau, Dolby Theatre (LA), Blue Note Tokyo and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club (London). Recently, Alex was invited to perform at LA Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Inauguration Ceremony at the LA City Hall.
In 2015, Alex appeared on PBS’s Tavis Smiley Show with Dee Dee Bridgewater and trumpeter Irvin Mayfield. He was also featured on All Music Television’s Jazz Christmas special in 2015 with trumpeter Theo Croker and vocalist Jazzmeia Horn. In 2009 he played a band member on an episode of Australia’s much-loved long-running TV drama “Home and Away”.
Alex was featured on NPR’s Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride in February, 2017 during their piece on the ‘real’ La La Land, in reference to the 2016 box-office smash.
After graduating from the Sydney Conservatorium with a bachelor’s degree in music in 2009, Alex spent several years performing, recording and touring in Australia and New Zealand with a who’s who of Australian artists and international touring acts including James Morrison, Mike Nock, Bernie McGann, Dale Barlow, James Muller, Paul Grabowsky, Greg Osby, George Garzone, Mike Moreno, Joel Frahm, Will Vinson, and the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. In 2012/2013 Alex lived in Rome, Italy where he expanded his reputation as an exceptional talent in Europe, performing and recording with artists such as Rosario Giuliani, Roberto Tarenzi, Alice Ricciardi, and Max Ionata. After Alex returned to Australia in late 2013, he continued to perform between Europe and Australia, touring, recording and playing festivals.
In 2014 Alex was accepted into the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance, the most highly selective jazz program in the world. Being the only bass player in the world accepted that year (and first Australian to even land an audition), Alex entered the top echelon of jazz performers in the world. The panel that selected the group consisted of Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, NEA Jazz Masters Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Heath, James Newton, and Herb Alpert. Individuals that are selected for this program are recognized by the esteemed judges as artists that have the potential to make a major impact in the world of music.
In the spirit and tradition of the music, Alex is also a gifted teaching artist and clinician. Through the Monk Institute Alex has conducted clinics for students from Los Angeles, Phoenix, AZ, and Paris, France. He has also acted as teaching artist and clinician for the Los Angeles-based Symphonic Jazz Orchestra, an organization which brings music to students in South-Central Los Angeles. Additionally Alex has been the bass instructor at various jazz camps including the New Zealand Jazz Workshop, and John Morrison’s Jazz Camp in Sydney, Australia.
Alex’s work as a bassist has been reviewed in countless major print and online publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, The Melbourne Age, The Adelaide Advertiser, All About Jazz and the Tokyo Jazz Review.