Born: August 8, 1980 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
A seasoned performer and clinician in both jazz and classical styles, Joel Vanderheyden is a saxophonist, composer and educator from Minneapolis, MN. He has served as Director of Jazz at both the University of Minnesota, Morris and Oakton Community College in the Chicago area, and has given masterclasses and appeared as a guest soloist and clinician with high school and collegiate ensembles around the country. His D.M.A. studies in classical saxophone with Kenneth Tse at The University of Iowa and M.M. studies in jazz with Chris Vadala at The University of Maryland have contributed to his well rounded approach to the saxophone and musical expression.
Vanderheyden has performed at jazz festivals in Switzerland, France, and notable stateside venues including Carnegie Hall, Blues Alley, The Dakota, The Artists’ Quarter, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and The Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. In 2000, Joel performed with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown at the Montreux Jazz Festival, opening for B.B. King, and has since shared the stage with many notable national and local jazz luminaries, including Jeff Tain Watts, Allen Vizzutti, Ingrid Jensen, Byron Stripling, Bruce Paulsen, Butch Warren, Vaughn Nark, Toby Koenigsberg, Jon Metzger, Mark Olen, Don Stille, Frank Dawson, Kenni Holmen, Mary-Louise Knutson, Phil Holm, Dave Graff, Butch Thompson, and Phil Hey.
Vanderheyden’s work has been commissioned by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and has been featured at the Iowa Jazz Championships and the Iowa City Jazz Festival. An active supporter of new music, he has also commissioned new works from composer Aaron Perrine, including Flow (2009), a sonata for saxophone and piano. Vanderheyden is a member of The College Music Society, North American Saxophone Alliance, Jazz Education Network, and MENC. He is a recipient of the Keith Carlson Memorial Jazz Award, Zeta Phi Eta Memorial Performing Arts Grant, University of Iowa Flood Relief Recording Grant, Hansen Memorial Music Award, and was nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2006.
Joel Vanderheyden’s recent studio album is titled Complete Life and was released on the Mize Music label in 2009. Drawing influence from the music of Radiohead, Michael Brecker, and Beck, Complete Life blends elements of jazz, rock and electronic music to create emotionally charged sonic colors that are progressive, refreshing, and epic. For more information, please visit www.joelvanderheyden.com.
Iowa City, IA