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Alyssa has won Best Songwriter in the Music Aid Awards competition! More details here:


Alyssa Hendrix was born in Boston, Massachusetts and has been playing the piano since she could walk. When she toddled up to the keys at age 2, her parents recognized something special was happening, and immediately enrolled her in piano lessons. Twelve years of Bach, music theory and endless finger exercises later, Alyssa quit her lessons to pursue a nagging feeling that perhaps there was more to life than playing other people's music.

At age 15, Alyssa was sitting in the hallway of her high school when a friend came up and handed her a Walkman. "Baker Baker" by Tori Amos was Alyssa's first introduction into the world she now inhabits, and the catalyst that propelled her along the path to songwriting. Branching away from Tori's particular brand of "angry girl music" was a struggle for Alyssa, a typical dark teenager, but Tom Waits came to the rescue with his storytelling style, and influenced her songwriting extensively.

A self-proclaimed "word nerd", Alyssa came to Illinois in 1997 to study poetry at Northwestern, where she was also the Musical Director of NU's only all-female a cappella group. A cappella music remains her passion to this day, as does poetry, and she tries to incorporate her love of blended voices and her admiration for T.S. Eliot and Tennyson into all of her music.

While at Northwestern, Alyssa began playing coffeehouses and charity events, showcasing her extraordinary piano skills, her soulful voice and her lyric-writing prowess. A hit among her peers, she moved into Chicago in
2001 to begin playing for larger audiences, and has found support wherever she performs. Now 27 years old, Alyssa is recording her first full-length album (Know Not Me) which is due out in Spring 2007.

Alyssa counts among her influences Tom Waits, Bruce Hornsby and Leonard Cohen.

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