“Years ago, if someone had told me I’d be doing this now, playing alongside these guys who have been huge heroes of mine, I just would’ve never believed we’d even cross paths let alone be working together,” said Alex Jules, a 28-year old musician and graduate of Jericho High School.
Those heroes include some of the biggest names in the realm of rock and roll, as well as a number of well-known producers with whom Jules has either played with, collaborated with, or simply hung out with since his move from New York City to Los Angeles nearly two and a half years ago.
Jules is fresh off a round of performances with Denny Laine, an original member of Moody Blues and the guitarist in Paul McCartney’s band Wings. The tour recently made its way to New York, with one performance at the Boulton Center in Bay Shore, and a sold-out show at City Winery in New York City. He attributes this opportunity to perform with Laine in venues across the nation to simply being in the right place at the right time.
“I have to imagine that being as obsessed with The Beatles as I always have been, that when I moved out here I would end up in circuit of people and meet a network of music fanatics who are obsessed with same music.”
Jules’ part in this tight-knit musical circuit, inclusive of Laine, resulted from an unlikely starting point: a family vacation in Europe.
His longtime admiration for The Beatles prompted him to insist that his family spend some time in Liverpool and endure a thorough tour. Little did he know that his interaction with their tour guide, Jackie Spencer, a professionally qualified “BeatleGuide,” would lead to a chain of connections in the Los Angeles music scene, opening doors to music festivals, ongoing collaborations and more Beatles-oriented run-ins down the line.
Through Spencer, Jules got in contact with well-connected record producers and musicians, one of them being Chris Price, whom he would eventually perform after at The International Pop Overthrow (IPO) Festival. Out of a mutual admiration of each other’s style of music, the two began working together, culminating in Price producing Jules’ solo record “Topiary.”
Eventually, Price asked if Jules would be interested in playing piano in a session for Emitt Rhodes, a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer known for sounding strikingly similar to Paul McCartney, to which he enthusiastically agreed.
“When I was moving to LA, I wrote down three things I wanted to accomplish,” said Jules. “One of them was to meet Emitt Rhodes, and in a weird twist of fate I became involved in his first album in 43 years.”
But the doors were only just beginning to open. In this initial session, Jules met Benjamin Lecourt, Corey Perez and Emeen Zarookian, three fellow musicians who would eventually join forces with him and Price to create a band known as Bebopalula. This new group, an all-encompassing conglomerate of singers and songwriters with no single frontman, is now in the process of recording their first album.
Though his band involvement and ongoing tour dates has made for a fairly busy schedule, Jules is constantly seeking any opportunities on the horizon.
One upcoming endeavor includes playing with Billy J. Kramer, a British-born pop singer formerly managed by Brian Epstein, who also managed The Beatles and recorded several original compositions by Lennon and McCartney.
“The Beatles continuously and mysteriously come into my life,” commented Jules.
In addition, Jules will again brush shoulders with top artists at the Wild Honey Orchestra, a collective of musicians who gather to put on one big show in Glendale, CA, to raise money for autism. This year’s event, which will take place on March 25 at the Alex Theatre, is a tribute to Music From Big Pink, the debut studio album by The Band.
Moving forward, Jules will continue to push himself as an artist and take advantage of any opportunities that arise.
“A bad thing as an artist, or in any situation, is to get comfortable,” said Jules. “I’m good at being comfortable and I’m very proud of how things are going, but you always want to think of what’s next.”
To get a taste of some of Jules’ latest work, listen to his single “Can’t Get Through” at www.soundcloud.com/alexjules/cant-get-through.