Meet Alexander Bone: The BBC’s First Young Jazz Musician Winner
On Friday 23 May, turn your TV sets to BBC Four to watch 17-year-old saxophonist Alexander Bone of Darlington play in the broadcast of the Final of the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award. You will not be disappointed because this teen has talent.
He’s been playing instruments since he was a toddler and just won the BBC’s first Young Musician Jazz Award with his impressive saxophone riffs.
The BBC’s Young Musician Award has only been awarded to young classical musicians until this year, when a jazz category was added. Bone was the first jazz winner.
Bone beat two other saxophonists, a trumpeter and a double bassist in the final with his musicality, and Bone said he really loved the experience.
“The whole experience was my favourite thing. I really enjoyed working towards the different rounds of the competition. All the staff were fantastic throughout and me and the other finalists were joking around and having a laugh, it didn’t really feel like a competition,” Bone said.
Bone isn’t just a talented saxophonist and pianist, but he also produces his own electronic music.
“I’ve always been interested and fascinated by music production as well as playing instruments. I first got into it using a game for the PlayStation One called ‘Music 2000’, where you could essentially compose/produce your own music on a basic level,” Bone said.
His YouTube channel, Boney, has 1,155 subscribers and 107,806 views across all his videos, and in the past he has been supported by musicians Freemasons, Madeon, Jamie Cullum, Benga and Lemaitre.
Bone’s favourite thing about music production is exploring and experimenting with new things.
“I always love discovering new things, whether it’s a new sound, or a new way to use certain effects, and then seeing what ideas spark from that. It means music production for me is always fresh and exciting,” Bone said.
The mesh of musical styles in his music productions on YouTube show that he doesn’t have just one favourite style of music, and also exposes his talent and ear for music.
“My parents are both musicians and play mainly jazz and pop music so I’ve always been exposed heavily to those styles, but since I was really young I’ve always loved other styles such as rock, electronic dance music and funk,” Bone said.
Musicians Stevie Wonder and Jamie Cullum as well as saxophonist Hank Mobley and DJ Fatboy Slim have influenced his music.
Bone currently expects to play a few jazz gigs soon, but he has not yet started playing gigs for his electronic music. He hopes to do that in the future.
Bone’s advice to other young musicians?
“Keep at it, stay inspired and have fun – that’s what music’s for!”
Don’t forget to watch Bone in the broadcast of the Final of the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award on BBC Four on Friday, 23 May!