Alaska Day is a guitarist, vocalist, bandleader and composer with filipina-peruvian roots.
She was born and raised in NYC. She picked up the guitar in middle school and started to write her first song. In high school she began to sing in a choir and started performing in many NYC venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden. She also auditioned and was accepted to sing in a alternative rock band, Insignia, where she polished her lyric writing and front-woman skills.
She got to Sarah Lawrence College in Fall of 2012 where she formed her all female group LEA and performed around upstate NY. Here she had the chance to study under and perform with music gurus Matt Wilson and Glenn Alexander. She then transferred to The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in 2014 where she honed her skills as as guitarist, vocalist, composer and improviser and studied under Kate Baker, Vic Juris and Dave Glasser.
“As soon as I heard Gretchen Parlato interpret the melody of the Herbie Hancock tune Butterfly, I knew I wanted to be a musician,” says Alaska. She transcribed the Robert Glasper arrangement and began listening deeply to her records. “I think I discovered something within how Gretchen was staying true to her musical vision. I always knew self-discovery was the ultimate goal for me in music but I didn’t truly grasp it until I heard and saw how Gretchen defied all odds in her music. It was so inspiring for me to hear someone who didn’t falter even when every teacher, professional or peer identifies the ideal (vocalist) to be something that is the complete opposite to what you’re striving for.”
She is compositionally influenced by the complex and beautiful harmonies of Antonio Carlos Jobim and Esperanza Spalding. She draws from a variety of genres such as neo soul, bossa nova and modern jazz. Her compositions are known for their eclectic harmonies and grooves as well as catchy melodies. She fell in love with João Gilberto's and Lionel Loueke’s solo guitar/voice works and Gretchen Parlato’s soft, intimate vocals. She has strived to create a sound that is both reflective of her influences and unique in its own way.
She is in multiple projects that span across various genres such as funk/soul/reggae band Alaskan Tiger Lily, indie band Candid Bluff, jazz group Claire Natirbov Trio and her own band Broken Flight. She has performed at various well known venues throughout the city such as: Drom, Leftfield, Silvana, Webster Hall, Melrose Ballroom along with many others.