Specializing in Drums, Guitar and Bass
B.A. in Jazz Performance from U Arts
Jazz, Rock, Pop, Composition
Production, Recording, Engineering
I teach drums, bass, and guitar. I am a multi-instrumentalist/producer based out of Philadelphia. After studying classical piano from 2nd grade through to high school, I picked up guitar, bass, and drums simultaneously, remaining largely self taught until I attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I graduated in 2008 with a BA in jazz performance with focus on drum set. In the last ten years I have taught private instrumental and recording/engineering lessons to students aged 6 through adult, as well as group performance classes. I am a strong believer in individuality, creativity, and diversity in musicians, and I try to encourage these qualities in my students. My goal is to teach students to play with passion and musicality, and with the technical facility to execute whatever they hear in the moment. I am also adamant that students understand the meaning behind the why and what they are playing, be it from a technical, conceptual, or stylistic point of view.
Watch Joe in the studio with his band, DRGN King:
Keep reading for an interview with Joe:
When did you begin playing drums, and why?
I started playing drums the Summer of 1999. I picked up guitar at the same time, but focused on drums because my friends and I wanted to start a band, and I was the only one who could play drums at all!
What are your personal goals as a musician?
To remain diverse and true to myself, while trying to connect music with as many people as possible.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?
I remember the first time I really got what it is to play for the song, and not just myself. I had always read interviews where drummers would talk about this idea, or refer to themselves as “pocket” drummers, but it wasn’t until I put in the time to really understand and practice “time” and “feel” from a more conceptual approach and started to use these ideas in my bands that I realized how powerful a connection you can make with an audience by simply supporting the music and making it feel good.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) drum teachers?
Be patient with yourself.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
I spent my entire sophomore year at Uarts really dedicating myself to learning jazz, practicing and studying anywhere from 4-8 hours a day, sometimes every day of the week. I knew that it would never be the main style of music I would focus on, but I also knew that the things I would learn in the process would help make me far more musical and disciplined.
What is your biggest musical achievement?
It’s a bit corny, but I feel every day I can continue my life entrenched in music is my greatest achievement, because I am doing what I truly love to do, and not everyone can say that.
Favorite thing about teaching?
When a student learns something about themselves from learning an instrument.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Be patient, and do it for yourself first.
Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc. (if any)
I am musical director for Viv and the Revival, and pop rock band on Universal Republic Records. I play regularly around the Philadelphia area with Muscle Tough, Drone Ranger, Ross Bellenoit, and Nik Greeley. I produce and mix local recording projects out of my studio in South Philadelphia., and will be releasing my own solo material throughout this year.
Click on the links below to hear some performances and original compositions by Joe: