Heitlinger, Alex B
Director of Jazz and Contemporary Performance, Assistant Professor
NC 720
Last Updated: 3/28/19 -

Dr. Alex Heitlinger, Director of Jazz and Contemporary Performance, brings a wide range of experience as a performer, composer, and educator to UVU’s Music Department. Since moving to Utah in 2015, he has established himself as one of the top-call jazz and session trombonists in the region, and has become an in-demand clinician and educator. His roles at UVU include directing jazz and contemporary ensembles, teaching courses in jazz improvisation and arranging, and serving as a private instructor of jazz trombone.

Although perhaps best known for creating the humorous jazz-inspired YouTube video,The Lick (which now has over 2.4 million views), Dr. Heitlinger’s work as a jazz trombonist, composer, bandleader, and producer has been well-received by critics and audiences around the world. Jazz radio host Bob Parlocha named Heitlinger’s debut album Green Light (Synergy Music) one of the top jazz albums of the year, and shared the music on his nationally syndicated jazz programs. Heitlinger's second album, The Daily Life of Uncle Roger, also received numerous positive critical reviews, with three pieces from the album receiving ASCAP Young Jazz Composer awards. A new album of Heitlinger's compositions for big band is set to be recorded in June 2019, and will feature an all-star ensemble including trombonist John Fedchock, trumpeter Greg Gisbert, and drummer John Riley.

As a trombonist, Heitlinger has shared the stage with numerous internationally recognized jazz, pop, and Latin music artists and bands including frequent collaborations with Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Art Lande. Recent recording projects include Z Octet by pianist Peggy Stern, and an upcoming release on Ropeadope Records by pianist/composer Carmen Sandim.

As an educator, Dr. Heitlinger has presented recent guest lectures and master classes at BYU Idaho, Idaho State University, Utah State University, Utah Music Educators Association Conference, and the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador). He continues to serve as a frequent guest adjudicator and clinician at local schools and festivals across Utah. Dr. Heitlinger holds degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder, The New England Conservatory, and The University of Texas at Austin.

"His music showed a lot of maturity, technical proficiency, but moreover, he has a voice. That’s rare."

- Maria Schneider (Grammy-winning jazz composer)

“With a foot firmly planted in modern post bop, Heitlinger's writing for this sextet demonstrates a keen sense of interplay for the front line, as he develops themes that are just as often about intertwining contrapuntal lines as more straightforward harmony.”

- All About Jazz

"...very much in the exploratory spirit of Booker Little's amazing early 1960's sextet... melodic and sonorous, full of appealing hooks and rich harmonies."

- Darcy James Argue (Grammy-nominated jazz composer)

“Heitlinger’s elaborate, richly lyric tunes give each improviser plenty to chew on. Each tune contains numerous, discreet episodes and plenty of harmonic movement. But his dense arrangements, which convey a much larger sound than you’d expect from a sextet, guide the listener through each section with an abundance of sonic warmth”

- Downbeat Magazine