water music is here!

i have 10 special edition bundles still left to preorder. when these records are gone…i am telling you, they are GONE. only one small run will ever be in existence, and of the special edition bundles (which contain two gifts), only 25 copies will exist.there are 15 copies of the vinyl+digital download left to preorder, direct from the ears&eyes website – pre-ordering now not only guarantees you a copy, but also ensures that 100% of the money you spend comes straight back to me. after november 1st, vinyl will only be available in-person at various stores around the world, live shows (wtf are those?), and bandcamp!

many thanks to everyone who has picked one up personally or preordered…you are so appreciated.also – this photo was taken by my partner in rapid city, south dakota, where we will be embarking on a six month creative residency in various locations throughout pahá sapá (black hills). i am very excited to spend an extended amount of time in the region i was born, reconnecting to the land, family, and friends (from a safe distance and/or with masks).

pre-orders for WATER MUSIC

good morning from chicago, lovers

as of a few days ago, preorders for WATER MUSIC vinyl are live! this is an exciting moment for me, and i believe that, to be fully appreciated, this music must be listened to on vinyl.

to me, music is a place for reflection and understanding of oneself and others. it is impossible for us to experience another persons joy and pain. however, music – writing – art…these have the power to share moments and give a brief glimpse into other worlds.

you can order one of two bundles here!

i appreciate your support, and hope to be with you in person someday soon.

love, a

preview of album art for WATER MUSIC

Behold! The vinyl cover for WATER MUSIC (designed by gifted and radiant visionary Lydia Cheshewalla)

Water Music is the first document in a series of activism-based projects that focuses attention on the Global Water Crisis, an issue that affects us all regardless of political ideology, race, orientation, gender, or any other status/label we use to segregate the masses. That being said, the crisis (like many, as we are collectively discovering) affects non-white communities the hardest, as access to this (usable) resource is becoming scarcer by the day. Oil and other resource-driven industries and governments are still throwing in new pipelines, mines, etc.. destroying protected land and polluting local water supplies.

This document speaks to the situations at Standing Rock, Flint, MI, and a major corporation that has been stealing hundreds of millions water from the state of California, every year, for almost 100 years for little more than a ~$1000 permit. It also spotlights the fact that all of the social movements that have begun in America over the past 100 years have been initiated, led and sustained by Black, Brown, and Indigenous Women.

The band – Mai Sugimoto, Artie Black, Anton Hatwich and Isaiah Spencer

More info later.

Pre-orders for vinyl will be available by September 22, and the record will drop Nov. 1st.

Water is Life.

STRANGE WINDS single – out now!!

Good afternoon from Chicago, friends. For the past few years, I’ve really wanted to experiment with an entirely improvised chamber ensemble. horns only…maybe some electronics. Using concepts from classical and BAM, and relying on the deep history of improvisation that is here, Chicago was the perfect place to try it out. After only one show, I knew I wanted to get it into the studio, so on December 15, 2019, Mai Sugimoto (alto, flute, voice, percussion) Artie Black (tenor, bass clarinet, voice, percussion), Hunter Diamond (tenor, clarinet, percussion, voice), Brian Seyler (tenor, percussion, voice) , Zach Good (bass clarinet, soprano clarinet, voice, percussion), Gerald Bailey (trumpet, op-1, percussion), and I rolled into Experimental Sound Studio and recorded 150 minutes of improvised music. The first single – Lullaby To A Lost Llama – can be found here!

Check it out, and stay tuned for the release of the full 38 minute record.

Alex Massa ‘Plays Well With Others : Adventure #1 – Glaspie/Haas’

The first in a series, Alex Massa’s Play Wells With Others : Adventure #1 – Glaspie/Haas is out NOW exclusively on Bandcamp through Ears&Eyes Records!

(click image to fly to bandcamp)

album artwork by Maria Degtiarenko

Featuring drummer Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power, Dumpstaphunk, TEPHRA, Beyoncé) and keyboardist Brian Haas (Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Nolatet, TEPHRA), this six track EP winds through 20 minutes of dazzling, dizzying, daring, and danceable compositions.

Recorded at Neutral Sound Studios (by Aaron Boudreaux) in New Orleans one week before Mardi Gras in 2019, this first Adventure captures the quirk and grit of this trio, all of whom hail from different musical backgrounds. Glaspie – one of the pillars of today’s international funk community, Brian Haas – classical piano virtuoso turned crossover pioneer, and me (Alex), coming from a BAM/funk/orchestral past – merge to bring life to compositions by Haas, myself, and Miles Davis.

Dan Pierson, of Whiskey Point Studios, and I mixed this record at the end of February/early March 2020 at his home studio in Chicago, and his steady hand and brilliant ear made this record into a masterpiece!

Scoot on over to https://massanotmassa.bandcamp.com/releases to download the album for a ‘Pay-what-you-can’ basis, and give yourself 20 minutes to drift!

Nikki Glaspie plays Yamaha drums, Zildjian cymbals, Vater drumsticks and Remo drumheads.

Brian Haas plays Rhodes keyboards, Moog synthesizers, and Line 6 pedals.

Alex Massa (me again) plays on Kanstul 1501, Bob Reeves Hollywood 1 1/2 C, and MXR and Line 6 effect pedals.

Water Music

– “It’s important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I’m interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act. It’s also not a sunny everything-is-getting-better narrative, though it may be a counter to the everything-is-getting-worse narrative. You could call it an account of complexities and uncertainties, with openings.” Rebecca Solnit (Hope In The Dark).

Good morning, friends. I hope everyone is finding enough to do at home, getting out for walks, and social distancing like pros. The past week was a series of ups and downs, trying to wrap my head around what is actually happening, and doing my best to get on my horn, my yoga mat, emails, or a book to keep from going crazy. I am sure it will continue to be a journey for us all the next few weeks. So, while we get through that together, I have some new stuff for you!

Tomorrow night, SDPB Radio’s ‘Jazz Nightly’ host Karl Gehrke and I will be having a phone chat while I debut my new record ‘Water Music’ LIVE on air! I am looking forward to having this world premiere in my home state, giving all those who have supported me throughout my life the first chance to hear it. I am giddy with excitement.

What’s that…you want to hear it, too? You CAN – click here – Tuesday March 24 – at 9p central time – and hang out with us as we discuss Water Music and the Water Protectors who inspired it.

Anton Hatwich, Mai Sugimoto, Isaiah Spencer, Artie Black, Dan Pierson, and Ryan Johnson helped to bring this music to life, and I am proud to present this beautiful collaboration to you.

Tune in and join us!



Alex Massa Plays Well With Others 2019 Winter Tour

Good morning from Chicago!

In less than two weeks, I begin a five-week long tour that includes a few short writing retreats and recording sessions in four different cities. Here is the schedule!

2/8-2/9 – w/Brian Haas (duo) at Tonic Santa Fe

2/11 – w/Mike Cameron Collective at Hodges Bend Tulsa, OK

2/12 – w/Chris Combs, Brian Haas and more at Fassler Hall Tulsa, OK

2/16 – w/Brian Haas and Zach Rhea at Artmosphere Lafayette, LA

2/17 – Tiny House Concert – New Orleans

2/20 – The Fat Trio at Siberia; sharing a bill with Brian Haas/Justin Peake Duo and Brad Webb Making Faces (9pm)

2/22 – (morning) w/Jonathan Freilich at Live Oak Cafe

2/22 – w/Nikki Glaspie, Brian Haas, Helen Gillet at Maple Leaf

2/23 – w/Mahmoud Chakti and Yakou N’guesan at Sidebar

2/25 – w/Brian Haas, Nick Benoit and a drummer – Instant Opus at Sidebar

2/26 – w/Aurora Nealand, Brian Haas, Jonathan Freilich, Dan Oestreicher, Justin Peake at Hi Ho Lounge

3/1 – w/Tricky Lamb – house concert (RSVP)

3/2 – w/Fat Ballerina feat. Brian Haas, Dan Oestreicher, Nathan Lambertson, and more at Maison

3/4 – w/Tricky Lamb at Live Oak Cafe

3/6 – w/Brian Haas and Mike Dillon at Sidebar

Alex and the Fish Factory

Two years ago, I took a month-long retreat to participate in an artists’ residency in the small town of Stöðvarfjörður on the eastern coast of Iceland. (I’ll post some pictures and anecdotes later this month)

Toward the end of the residency, each artist was asked to shoot a short interview. Here is the link to mine! The people (and animals) of the Fish Factory Creative Center are continuing to build improvements upon their already super incredibly inspiring place, and I long for when I am once again able to stare out over the ocean, be embraced by the mountains, and watch as the skies are painted green, yellow, purple and blue.


Alex Massa


Welcome to my newly-renovated website!

This is a space of inclusion and inspiration – Peruse the pages and amuse your eardrums with recordings old and new. Enjoy my stories, adventures, and ideas that I post, and feel free to send feedback.

I will be updating pages constantly with new projects that I am working on, and projects that I have been included on.