Alvin Queen was born in New York at 1950 to a working class family.
He earned money for drum lessons as a shoe. When he was young, at the legendary Apollo Theatre, he attended Elvin Jones and John Coltrane. At twelve he was involved in a recording. His talent did not remain unknown for long time. Ruth Brown contacted him in 1966, Horace Silver took him in 1968 in his band. Then there was Don Pullen and George Benson, who hired him for a year for some appearances on "The Johnny Carson Show." After George, there was a long collaboration with Charles Tolliver, who offered him his first European tour in 1971. During this time, Alvin was increasingly demanded by many musicians, including Pharoah Sanders, Milt Jackson, Wild Bill Davis, Leon Thomas, Mercer Ellington, Art Farmer, Jimmy Garrison, Al Grey, Kenny Drew, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, George Braith , Arnett Cobb, Al Cohn, Dolo Cocker, Buddy de Franco, Eddie Gomez, Plas Johnson, Joe Newman, Horace Parlan, Jay McShann, Buddy Tate, Randy Weston, Jimmy Woode, Niels Henning Osted Pederson, Reggie Workman, Dizzy Gillespie, Terence Blanchard, and Robin Eubanks.
Alvin has worked primarily alongside legendary saxophonists as Zoot Sims, Stanley Turrentine, Johnny Griffin, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Dexter Gordon, George Coleman and the stars of the new generation, such as Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton and Christian McBride. In the late seventies he moved to Geneva and founded his own record label (Nilva Records) with whom he has produced numerous artists such as Junior Mance, Sal Nistico, John Collins, John Hicks and Ray Drummond.
For almost 30 years Alvin Queen is also working with the great Italian pianist Dado Moroni. Together, they have shared the stage with historical figures such as Johnny Griffin, Wynton Marsalis, Bud Shank, Clark Terry, David Murray, James Moody, Oliver Lake, Harry Edison, Buddy De Franco etc. This team of artists representing almost all the languages of jazz, from tradition to avant-garde.
Photo Credits ©Mariagrazia Giove