The Charlotte area has lost one of its leading jazz men - John Alexander. The longtime saxophonist and composer died last Sunday, Nov. 19, in Gastonia. He was a regular at the Double Door Inn, Blue and the Ritz, as well as many other local venues where he helped keep jazz alive in the Charlotte area.
Alexander was a Gastonia native. He played with Army bands in South Carolina and South Korea in the early 1970s. He went to Erskine College, got his teaching certificate from UNC Charlotte, and went on to earn a master's degree in jazz teaching from the University of Miami.
More than a musician, he was a teacher and leader on the Charlotte jazz scene. He directed the Charlotte Jazz Orchestra, which recorded two albums of his music. He also was president of the Charlotte Jazz Society.
John Alexander was 69 years old.