Thana Alexa

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Thana Alexa
Background information
Born (1987-03-19) March 19, 1987 (age 36)
New York City, New York
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, contemporary soul, Ethno jazz
Occupation(s)Vocalist, Composer, Arranger, Producer
Instrument(s)Voice, violin

Thana Alexa (born Thana Alexa Pavelić; born March 19, 1987) is an American jazz vocalist, composer, arranger and producer.


Early life[edit]

Alexa's interest in music began at age three when she disappeared from a birthday party and was discovered in the basement playing melodies to simple songs on a toy piano.[1] She soon expressed a preference for the violin, and began taking lessons.[1] Although she began to sing during this period, she believed the violin to be her primary instrument and considered pursuing it vocationally.[1]

After elementary school, Alexa's family moved back to Croatia.[1] She began singing songs in English as a way of maintaining her connection to her mother tongue and her childhood in the United States.[1] In Zagreb, Alexa took voice lessons at the Rock Academy.[2] Musician and club owner Boško Petrović mentored her – she began attending regional jazz workshops and performing professionally, including at Croatian festivals.[1]

Alexa studied psychology at Northeastern University before transferring to the New School in New York City; she completed her psychology degree and received a fine arts degree in jazz performance.[2] She cites drummer Bernard Purdie as a mentor during this time.[1]

Music career[edit]

Her first album as a leader, Ode to Heroes, was released by Jazz Village.[1][2] She appears on guitarist Gene Ess's album Absurdist Theatre.[3] Alexa has also collaborated with vibraphonist Christos Rafalides.[1] Her 2020 album ONA went on to gain two Grammy nominations, including Best Jazz Vocal Album and Best Improvised Jazz Solo for Regina Carter.[4]

Awards and honors[edit]

Thana Alexa and husband/ collaborator Antonio Sanchez shared the cover of DownBeat Magazine in the May 2020 issue. For four consecutive years, Alexa has also appeared in the DownBeat magazine Critics' Poll for Rising Female Vocalist.[5] She was runner-up in the 2014 Made in New York Jazz Competition.[6]


As leader[edit]

  • Ode to Heroes (Jazz Village, 2015)[2][7]
  • ONA (Self Release, 2020)

As guest[edit]

With Antonio Sanchez

With Gene Ess

  • Fractal Attraction (SIMP, 2013)[10]
  • Eternal Monolith (SIMP, 2015)
  • Absurdist Theatre (SIMP, 2016)[3]
  • Apotheosis (SIMP, 2018)

With others

  • Matija Dedic, Friends (Dallas, 2010)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Deluke, R.J. (April 20, 2015). "Thana Alexa: Singer and Instrument". All About Jazz. Retrieved March 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Staudter, Thomas. "Thana Alexa: Strategic Planner" (PDF). Downbeat Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Garutch, Sylvannia (September 16, 2016). "Gene Ess: Absurdist Theatre". Elmore Magazine. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe. "Thana Alexa Prepares Tour Of Two-Time GRAMMY-Nominated Album ONA". Retrieved June 27, 2022.
  5. ^ "Annual 65th Critics' Poll Complete Results" (PDF). Downbeat. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  6. ^ "New York Events". CBS New York. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  7. ^ Carol, Weber. "No ordinary singer: Thana Alexa illuminates her place in 'Ode to' jazz heroes". AXS. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  8. ^ Chinen, Nate (June 8, 2015). "Review: Antonio Sánchez With 2 Albums, 'The Meridian Suite' and 'Three Times Three'". The New York Times. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  9. ^ "Antonio Sanchez and Migration, Lines in the Sand, CAM Jazz". CAM Jazz. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  10. ^ "Gene Ess Fractal Attraction". Allmusic. Retrieved March 27, 2018.

External links[edit]