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Joe La Barbera

"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".

- Bill Evans

Joe La Barbera is highly regarded in the world of jazz and has been in demand by some of the greatest names in the music for five decades. From his first professional appearance at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas with Frankie Randall and the Buddy Rich band in 1968 to his work with jazz great Bill Evans and up to the present, he has always been regarded by his peers as a tasteful, musical drummer and a supportive accompanist. Bill Evans summed it up best when he said: “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”. As a performer the list of artists Joe has worked with is impressive across generations and continents including Woody Herman, Chuck Mangione, John Scofield, Mike and Randy Brecker, Toots Thielemans, Lee Konitz, Joe Locke, John Abercrombie, Gary Burton, Dado Maroni, Enrico Pieranunzi, Phillipe Catherine and Kenny Wheeler to name only a few. Joe was on the faculty at California Institute for the Arts from 1993 until 2021 and stays busy as a clinician and guest artist at prestigious programs such as Centrum Jazz Camp in Port Townsend Washington, St. Louis Conservatory in Rome, Capbreton, France, McGill University in Montreal and Cornish College in Seattle.