Primary Instrument: Guitar
Over the past several years, guitarist Joe JJ Sansaverino has reached millions with his music, touring the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, the South Pacific and the Caribbean. He has worked with the best in the business in a wide range of idioms, both live and in the studio, and has appeared on hundreds of recordings. Now, with the release of his debut album Sunshine After Midnight, JJ puts forward a stunning selection of his original compositions, with the help of a stellar array of musicians, producers and special guests.
Sunshine After Midnight is a diverse showcase of original guitar styles-including R&B, jazz, rock, fusion and JJ's trademark ballad style-featuring many of NYC's finest musicians. Teaming up with powerhouse producers Alex Valenti (NYC) and Zé Luis Oliveira (Rio de Janeiro), JJ has fused urban beats and Brazilian flavor with fresh horn arrangements, giving the album a radio-friendly, street-savvy sound with a virtuosic edge.
An accomplished composer, arranger and musical director, JJ was playing trumpet and violin by age 11 and the guitar by age 13. Growing up in and around New York, JJ's diverse influences-Santana, Hendrix, as well as jazz, Motown and doo-wop-helped mold his unique style. After performing locally in NYC for several years in the early Nineties, JJ embarked on his first European tour with the popular alternative rock band Heads Up.
Upon returning to the States, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, while returning to NYC every weekend to perform original music with his own band. While enrolled at Berklee, JJ was the first and only artist to write an original piece for the well-known Singer's Showcase (an all-cover music revue), and in his senior year he arranged a medley of Sting's music performed for Sting and Nancy Wilson at Berklee's 1994 commencement ceremonies. Majoring in commercial arranging, JJ graduated cum laude and won the prestigious 1994 Writing Award of the Year.
JJ returned to NYC and began performing nightly, quickly earning a reputation as one of the hardest-working musicians on the scene. It wasn't long before he started appearing and recording with artists like George Clinton, Kelly Price, SuperCat, Shabba Ranks, Monty Alexander, the Jungle Brothers, Rita & Kymani Marley, and Toots and the Maytals, and recording TV jingles for clients including Mercedes Benz, 1-800-flowers and Citibank. He eventually settled in as lead guitarist for Maxi Priest in 2000, immediately embarking on the first of several world tours. In his time back in the States, JJ continued to perform in a variety of musical settings, while laying down tracks for numerous artists and recording his own compositions in the studio.
In 2001, JJ became musical director for newly signed J Records artist Marcus, recording guitar tracks alongside producers PM Dawn, and directing and performing a live showcase for the legendary Clive Davis. In June 2002, working with Soul Solution (the Today Show's Band of the Year), JJ performed at Sir Paul McCartney's wedding in Ireland; soon after, the band was invited by the White House to perform at the 2002 Kennedy Center Honors awards ceremony in Washington DC. More recently, in 2004 JJ was appointed musical director of the top-notch corporate band GDO Soul, which performed at Donald Trump's new ballroom at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL in the spring of 2005. JJ continues to appear on television specials for VHI, BET, CBS, NBC (including the Today Show three times) and FOX (including international broadcasts).