Pianist Bugnon warming up for Aug 28 Gardena Jazz Festival

Pianist Alex Bugnon will be one of several musicians performing at the Aug. 28 Gardena Jazz Festival. (Laura Razzano)

By Brett Callwood

The 19th Annual Gardena Jazz Festival is set to take place on Sunday, August 28 at Rowley Park. As is generally the case, the organizers have assembled a stellar array of talent, and the News will be speaking with a number of them as the date approaches. This week was the turn of Alex Bugnon, who will be performing with fellow jazzhead Marion Meadows.

A little bit of background first — how long have you been playing, and what are your career highlights?

I started piano at 6 years old. My career highlights are: still being in demand after a 32 year career, briefly touring with EWF in 1996, and sitting in with another group I idolize, Ohio Players. 

When and how did you start playing with Marion?

Marion and I have known each other for 30 years, occasionally finding ourselves on stage together. Last year we put a band together with Poogie Bell on drums and Will Gaines on bass, and made up a very nice set of our music. People loved it, we got a buzz within the industry, and we have been working together almost every week this Summer.

Describe the sound of the music you make together?

Our sound is an old school ‘70s contemporary jazz sound with a killer groove, with lots of improvisation, as jazz should be.

Do you have any recorded output — together and solo?

There are no recordings of this band… yet!

What else do you have going on this year?

Touring and more touring. Trying to finish another solo album.

Visit cityofgardena.org/recreation-and-human-services/jazz-festival/ for more info on the Gardena Jazz Festival.