Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants

Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants

 New York City, New York, USA

Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants combines jazz and blues influences with inflections of various rhythms and melodies from around the world. The mission of the group is to travel and exchange spirit and sound with listeners and musicians, hence the name Sound Merchants.


Drummer, educator and clinician, Alvin Atkinson, Jr. has toured the globe with his group Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants. In 2009, the group traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon for the U.S. State Department’s Musical Overtures tour. In the 2007 and 2008, the group participated in the Rhythm Road: American Music Abroad Program (sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center) tour to the Middle East and Russia. In 2008, Jazz at Lincoln Center asked Alvin to lead the “All-Star American Music Abroad Group” tour to Mali, India and China.

Atkinson’s career highlights include recording the theme song for PBS’s show, Moment of Luxury, the New York One Television Network’s theme song, and the music for the HBO Cat House documentary. Additionally, Atkinson participated in two Jazz Ambassador tours of Africa and South America sponsored by the Kennedy Center and the U.S. State Department in 2004; a performance at the White House for President George W. Bush in 2002; house drummer for the 2002-2003 season of the Emeril Live television show on the Food Network Channel; and the “Harlem” National Tour with the Kennedy Center 2002 and 2003.

Throughout the US and abroad, Atkinson has shared the stage with notable artists such as: Freddy Redd, Ellis Marsalis, Jimmy Heath, Barry Harris, Houston Person, Luciana Souza, Don Braden, Frank Wess, Oscar Brown, Jr., Ernie Andrews, Miguel Zenon, Tom Browne, Vanessa Rubin and Wycliffe Gordon.

Atkinson’s first solo project Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants received nominations for “Best International Jazz Song” from the First Annual 2007 Toronto Exclusive Magazine and “Best Jazz Song” from the Seventh Annual Independent Music Awards for the single Dance of the Emirates.


Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants, 2007

Set List

Jazz standards and originals

Dance of the Emirates
Aint Doris
Journey of the Ibn Battuta
Elite State of Mind

Katrina Ballerina
Well You Needn't
Straight No Chaser