Alexandra Wiley Pengelly, born in Princeton, New Jersey, was in Portland, OR by first grade. Always with her head in a book, Alexa has always been a writer and dreamer of sorts. It wasn't until college, where she played Div 1 soccer on scholarship and studied philosphy, that she began to pick up the guitar and make up rambling poems. Going on walks at three in the morning she made up acapella songs that she took to small open mics in Corvallis, OR where she went to OSU and took on the name
At college parties roommates would call the city ahead of time to get permission to hold a drum circle, Knowing that Alexa would find a way to start a major, pound on whatever you have, drum jam that would inadvertedly invite cops to the party. It was perhaps this love of drumming that brought her to invest in her first ashiko drum, one of many tiny steps of faith. With her drum she played with a local Corvallis band called Uncle Sam
After graduation, Alexa ended up in Bend, OR and did some recording with PHAT TRAX (now in Minneapolis as Wookiefoot) and performed with other local musicians in the local open mic, and opened up the show for up-coming bands around town.
Later she moved to Colorado for four months, then to Guatemala, and then back to her hometown of Portland. Within her first year back she organized women’s music events at local colleges and for the Salem women’s prison. Alexa has since recorded three CDs and performs regularly around Portland, OR, and outlying areas, with other local musicians.
Although motion is a very important force in Alexa’s life, what feeds her is a sense of place and community. Alexa is a patchwork of little pieces of poetry, instruction, inspiration, love, conflict, ideas, and support of people she has crossed paths with, and knows that her dreams are truly the common dream. Planted in Portland, OR, she follows her inner off-beat drum that leads her again and again into the garden of poetry, music and performance.
You are listening to Alexa's "eating that way" from the album of the same name