ELLIOT K. SMITH - Keyboardist
Elliot K. Smith has been involved with the Alley Kats since late 2014, and can't dance. Thank the stars he can jam on the keyboard with, croon for, and artistically lead their Jazz Ensemble. Elliot also relishes being a musician and composer of the Duke City Moonshine Band. He adores that these associations allow a deep exploration of the relationships that tap can develop with jazz, funk, bluegrass, swing, modern... and the list goes on. He's grateful that every member of each group is encouraged to propose pieces, bring character, and allow Art to naturally happen. The mutual respect within proves its power outstandingly.
Elliot is also a Pianist for the National Dance Institute, the Music Director of Las Placitas Presbyterian Church, an Accompanist for the Young Musician Initiative, a Co-Music Director and Transcriber for Rumble, a musical comedy troupe, and a frequent participant/leader with Musical Theatre Southwest.
ALYSSA JENSEN - Trumpeter
Alyssa Jensen grew up in Albuquerque New Mexico picking up the trumpet at age 10! Playing jazz and classical all through middle and high school. Alyssa was taking professional lessons at the time allowing her to attend Jazz and classical All state in high school and continued professional lessons through her junior year at The University of new Mexico. Alyssa is now continuing her Bachelor of Arts in Music at UNM as a freelance musician.
NICHOLAS HALLIBURTON - Percussionist
Nick has been playing music for over 10 years as a self-taught musician. He started writing and recording music when he was 13 and hasn't stopped sense. He joined the Alley Kats Tap Company as their house musician in 2014 and co-found The Duke City Moonshine Band, and The Alley Kats Jazz Ensemble in 2015. Nick's musical interests include, but are not limited to, new wave, punk, jazz, blues, funk, folk and rockabilly.
RYAN SAAVEDRA -
Ryan Saavedra was born and raised in Albuquerque New Mexico. Ryan is a saxophonist as well as a guitarist. He began playing the Alto Saxophone in the 4th grade and started playing jazz in the 7th grade and has loved it ever since. Ryan plays small jazz gigs around Albuquerque and hopes to turn playing music into his career.
Alex first picked up the guitar in middle school as the "cooler" alternative to piano which he had already been studying for a few years. Power chords and over-the-top distortion got old after a year or so, and he began to more seriously study the instrument with local instructors David Ostrovitz, Gregg Daigle, and Michael Anthony. Throughout his musical journey he has played in a variety of eclectic groups and genres: from accompanying Albuquerque's local klezmer orchestra to arranging and performing Japanese folk songs with a guitar trio in rural Japan. Most recently he has been getting back into studying and playing jazz as the guitarist for the Alley Kats Jazz Ensemble.
Matthew Jaeger- I was born and raised in New Mexico. I started playing bass at the age of about 9 (the start of 5th grade). Ever since, I've been learning the basics and fundamentals of the bass by using tools such as the Internet and some books. I started out reading tablature then by sixth grade is when I started reading music. I joined the Eisenhower jazz band in 7th grade and I have continued playing jazz ever since. It wasn't until 10th grade when I started playing the upright. I am now a senior in high school, graduating in 2016. I've played in many jazz groups and bands all over Albuquerque. My plans for the future are to major in bass performance and study music. I plan to play as much as I can in college. I've been in the Alley Kat's Jazz Ensemble since October and I've loved it ever since. Nothing is more fun than performing in front of people who came to listen to you play. I feel that is the greatest gift anyone could give me.