Joel Bowers

Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Born: July 4, 1975    

Joel Bowers

Joel Bowers is a 38 year-old native of San Jose, California. Joel is a 1997 graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies. In May of 2002, he completed his Masters of Music Jazz Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While attending CU Boulder, Joel was the jazz department's teacher assistant and his duties included assisting the jazz faculty, coaching jazz ensembles and teaching private students through the Universities continuing education program.

Joel, who has been playing the saxophone since age nine, is unique among young saxophonists in that he has a very strong interest in older styles of jazz. His influences include such legendary saxophonists as Lester Young, Stan Getz, Stanley Turrentine, Hank Mobley and Dexter Gordon. He has learned to play in the idiom of those players and has done so quite convincingly. Joel has personally studied under such recognized names as: Jimmy Giuffre, Plas Johnson, George Garzone, John McNeil, Joe Maneri and Jerry Bergonzi....
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“They got the name of the group right on this one (The Greasy Beats) - - because the music here is greasy and gritty — partly deep funk, and partly older soul-styled grooves! The overall groove is rich and full — almost with Memphis soul touches at times, but cut down with the leanness of the modern deep funk generation.” -

“JB and the Rebellion is an alumni reunion of jazz-funk's perennial players. Organized by tenor saxophonist Joel Bowers, the disc boasts spots from scene heavyweights like organist Robert Walter, bassist Chris Stillwell, percussionist Chuck Prada and DJ Mister Rourke, among others. Recruiting a rock solid backing of Hammond organist Keith Ladinsky, guitarist Rodney “B.R.” Millon and drummer Aaron Redfield, Bowers also lays a firm foundation for his album before layering the disc with talented friends and neighbors. Staples in some of the groove community's strongest live acts, Bowers' recruits have helped set jazz-funk within its current schooled-yet-slinky, context.”

“Joel Bowers has assembled a group of ringers... Robert Walter, Chuck Prada, Chris Stillwell and others throw down for a jazz-funk fusion celebration of the groove, and the room is bumping.” -

“JB and The Rebellion's exhilarating sax/organ sound pays homage to the soul-jazz, blues and funk of the late 1960's and early 1970s while pushing jazz and groove music forward into the future.” -

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Primary Instrument:

Culver City, CA

Willing to teach:

Joel enjoys sharing his love of music and the craft of jazz with aspiring musicians, both recreational and professional. He currently directs the Instrumental Music department at St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey, CA and has previously taught at Crossroads Elementary School and New Roads High School in Santa Monica. Joel has also been a frequent clinician at the Stanford Jazz Workshop in Stanford, CA.

To learn more about Joel's credentials as a musician please visit

Private Lessons
Joel teaches lessons out of his studio in West Los Angeles and in special cases can travel to your home. He works with intermediate-advanced students on all instruments, who have an interest in some or all of the following:

  • composing & improvizing melodies
  • fluency in the many idioms of jazz, funk & blues
  • understanding music theory and putting it to use
  • playing by ear
  • expressing emotions powerfully through music
  • for saxophonists: saxophone technique, including sound production, articulation, altissimo, inflections & effects
Lessons are normally 60-75 minutes long and cost $50-75 depending on travel time/distance.

University of Colorado Boulder, CO
Master of Music in Jazz Performance and Pedagogy, May 2002

New England Conservatory of Music Boston, MA
Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance, May 1997

Plas Johnson, George Garzone, John McNeil, Jimmy Guiffre, Joe Maneri

Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses Ralph Moore, Allan Chase, Bevan Manson, Dominique Eade

St. Bernard High School, 2006-present
Crossroads Elementary School, 2005
New Roads High School, 2004
Stanford Jazz Workshop, 2002-2004
University of Colorado at Boulder, 1999-2002

“Joel possesses the musicianship, talent and maturity to rise above the norm. He plays jazz, blues, funk and more. He can do it all, and do it well. "
-Dr. John Davis, Director of Jazz Studies University of Colorado Boulder

“Joel Bowers is a very gifted musician.”
-John McNeil, Professor of Jazz Trumpet New England Conservatory

“Joel is an outstanding young musician who has a strong future in music.”
-Bevan Manson, Director of Jazz Ensembles UC at Berkeley

“Joel is it!”
-George Garzone, Professor of Saxophone New England Conservatory

Clinic/Workshop Information:
Joel is available as a clinician for all levels and styles. Has taught/lectured at numerous schools/workshops in California and Colorado. Subjects covered include:


Private or ensemble lessons are also available. For more information please visit or email

Sorry, no recommendations at this time.

Selmer Super Balanced Action Tenor Saxophone circa 1949
Selmer Mark VI Baritone Saxophone circa 1954
Selmer Mark VI Soprano Saxophone circa 1969

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