February 22, 2016

When internationally acclaimed pop vocalist Josh Groban takes to the stage in three Central Florida performances, he will be joined by Alex Lewis, a senior UCF Jazz Studies trumpet major.

When UCF music professor Dr. Kelly Miller was alerted that Groban’s management was seeking a talented Central Florida music student who was also a skilled jazz player, she immediately recommended Lewis. He was subsequently engaged to perform three dates with Groban. The performances are February 28 in Sarasota at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, March 1 in Clearwater at the Ruth Eckerd Hall, and March 2 at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

Lewis says he is both excited and prepared for the performance. “I think my preparation comes from a combination of intensive training on the instrument through lessons, my knowledge gained about improvisation and musical performance from my degree track, and my experience from multiple performances at UCF.”

UCF audiences may recognize Lewis from his participation in the Flying Horse Big Band. He was accepted into the premier student jazz ensemble his freshman year and is now the longest standing member of the ensemble. He studies with UCF music professor John Almeida.

Lewis will take the stage to join Groban as he sings “Old Devil Moon” from his latest CD “Stages.” Lewis will be following in the footsteps of great Jazz trumpet players Arturo Sandoval and Chris Botti, who have both recorded with Groban.

“I am looking forward to getting to network and work with more professional musicians, and having the opportunity to share my sound with such a large amount of people,” says Lewis.

For more information about the UCF School of Performing Arts, click here.

The School of Performing Arts at the University of Central Florida comprises the Music and Theatre departments. In addition to year-round performances and teaching on the UCF campus, the School presents performances and outreach in cooperation with our community partners, which include the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orlando Repertory Theatre, and the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. For more information about attending performances, click here.

America’s Partnership University: The University of Central Florida, the nation’s second-largest university with nearly 60,000 students, has grown in size, quality, diversity and reputation in its first 50 years. Today, the university offers more than 200 degree programs at its main campus in Orlando and more than a dozen other locations. UCF is an economic engine attracting and supporting industries vital to the region’s future while providing students with real-world experiences that help them succeed after graduation.

For more information, visit Today at UCF.

Read more about Alex’s journey in the Orlando Sentinel