Joe La Barbera
February 22, 1948
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Zoro



© Alex Solca







Joe La Barbera...
Joe LaBarbera (born February 22, 1948) is an American jazz drummer and composer. He is best known for his recordings and live performances with the trio of pianist Bill Evans in the final years of Evans's career. Prior to joining Evans he worked in the quartet of Chuck Mangione and Joe Farrell.

JOE LA BARBERA has enjoyed a long and varied career in music, a career that has taken him all over the world with some of the finest names in jazz. He is regarded by his peers as a musical drummer and a supportive accompanist. Jazz great Bill Evans summed it up best when he said that "Joe is very dedicated to playing quality music and he's willing to make the concessions of dues toward that end. He's a top soloist and he does the right thing at the right time."

Born in Mt. Morris, New York, his first musical experiences began at home as part of the family band with his parents and two older brothers saxophonist Pat and trumpeter and arranger/composer John La Barbera. From his father he received a solid foundation in drumming as well as lessons on clarinet and saxophone. His education continued at the Berklee College of Music in Boston where his teachers included John LaPorta, Charlie Mariano, Herb Pomeroy and the great Alan Dawson.

After Berklee and two years with the US. Army band at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Joe began his professional career with Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd. The Chuck Mangione Quartet followed with gigs ranging from jazz clubs with the small group to symphony halls with full orchestra. Then it was on to New York and a fruitful two-year period of freelancing with Jim Hall, Phil Woods, Art Farmer, Gary Burton, Art Pepper, John Scofield, Bob Brookmeyer and Toots Thielmans to name just a few.

In 1978 Joe was asked to join Bill Evans in what was to become a landmark trio. Along with bassist Marc Johnson, the trio grew over a two-year period to become one Evan's finest. After Bill's untimely death in 1980, Joe joined pop singer Tony Bennet.

Currently residing in Los Angeles, Joe is involved in a wide range of music locally, nationally and internationally. On the local scene he is busy with his own quintet as well as sideman duties with many well known jazz artists. Recent dates in North America include performances with Bill Mays, Eddie Daniels, Randy Brecker and brother Pat LaBarbera.

During the last few years, Joe has toured Europe with Kenny Wheeler, Bassline (with Hein Van De Geyn and John Abercrombie) and the WDR Big Band. Most recently, he toured Japan with Lee Konitz, Europe with The West Coast All Stars and with Karrin Allyson, and South America with Bud Shank.

In 1999 along with Tom Warrington, Larry Koonse and Clay Jenkins, Joe created Jazz Compass, an independent recording company dedicated to the kind of creative music that has always been close to his heart. Joe has two releases on Jazz Compass, “Live” (JC1004) and “Mark Time” (JC1437) which was selected one of the top 10 2003 releases in Dr. Herb Wong’s Blue Chip Jazz CD Awards. He is also heard on other Jazz Compass projects including brother John La Barbera’s exciting new big band recordings, “On The Wild Side” (JC1007) and "Fantazm" (JC1011).

Since 1993, Joe has been on the faculty of California Institute For The Arts in Valencia, California. He is also a visiting artist at UNLV (Las Vegas), and a faculty member of the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop. In the past he has also served on the National Endowment For The Arts council in Washington D.C. and has been a guest at many other colleges as both performer and lecturer.





© Alex Solca




Message from Art
Walk on the Wild Side


from:
Buddy Rich fans will rejoice that this CD includes John La Barbera's arrangement of "Walk on the Wild Side Suite," which was the staple of Buddy's live set but was never recorded. Drummer Joe La Barbera, who hadn't recorded in a big band setting since his days with Woody Herman, drives the band with authority and backs soloists with the sensitivity he displayed in The Bill Evans Trio. Traditional big band recordings don't get any better than this combination of great charts and inspired musicianship. Rick Mattingly Modern Drummer June 2004.









performed with:

Bill Evans
Joe LaBarbera Quintet
Marc Johnson
John Scofield
Tom Warrington Trio
Bud Shank
Kenny Wheeler
WDR Big Band
Alan Dawson
Frankie Randall
Woody Herman
Conte Candolfi
Chuck Mangione
Tony Bennett
Bill Cunliffe
Clay Jenkins
Terry Trotter
Eden Atwood
Base Line
Bob Brookmeyer
Rosemary Clooney
Mike Wofford
Harold Danko
Gary Foster
Dave Peck
Ellen Rowe
Carol Sloane
Bobby Shew
Diane Schur
Lalo Schifrin
Cole Porter
Davis Gaines
Karen Gallinger
Gerry Niewood
Paul Langosch
Phil Edwards
Don Potter
Base Line
Talley Sherwood
John Oddo
Ralph Sharon
Weslia Whitfield
Gap Mangione
Frankie Randall
Kim Richmond
Gary Foster
Larry Koonse
Brian Kilgore

.....and many more

































© Alex Solca
















1978 w/ the Phil Woods Sextet
© Tom Marcello







The Distillery Historic District, Toronto, May 30 - June 3, 2007



© Alex Solca








Buddy Rich - Joe La Barbera