Joe Locke is widely considered to be one of the major voices of his instrument. He has performed and recorded with a diverse range of notable musicians, including Grover Washington Jr, Kenny Barron, Eddie Henderson, Cecil Taylor, Dianne Reeves, Ron Carter, The Beastie Boys, the Münster Symphony Orchestra and the Lincoln, Nebraska Symphony.
Long known to be a soloist capable of stunning physical power and broad emotional range, it was not until the last decade that he emerged as the composer, bandleader and conceptualist that he is considered today. This is in no small part due to his solo projects of the last decade. “Four Walls of Freedom” (Sirocco), a 6 movement suite based on the writing of the monk Thomas Merton, which he composed as a vehicle for tenor saxophonist Bob Berg, garnered high praise from the critical community as a major work and won several international polls. “Live in Seattle” (Origin), by The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group, won the 2006 EarShot award for “Concert of the Year”. This group is well loved and emulated by younger musicians looking for direction and inspiration. The overwhelming success of his recent quartet, “Force of Four” (Origin), can be attributed to the talents of his young cohorts and to the leader’s musical philosophy, which is to honor tradition while keeping both feet planted in the present and future. His 2011 album, the captivating, immersive album “VIA”, is the result of a reunion of Storms/Nocturnes, the transatlantic trio with Geoffrey Keezer and Tim Garland.
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“In the select group of contemporary vibes players, Locke has claims to head the
— Penguin Encyclopedia of Jazz
“Joe Locke’s playing and writing have been an absolute joy to this vibist’s ears that
have been starving to hear a player who challenges himself on every tune. Joe is
constantly pushing the envelope musically. The cat is going into orbit soon …. I love
— Mike Mainieri
“Locke has secured a spot among the world’s top jazz vibists – and one of the most
popular. Without sacrificing his jazz integrity or intent, Locke still manages to
engage even casual listeners with a mixture of edgy attitude and artistic purity.”
— Neil Tesser, Chicago Examiner
“Not only has he mastered an instrument that has catapulted only a handful of
players to the forefront of modern jazz – but he has done so in a way that
transcends mere technique and establishes him as a unique and adventurous
— Derek Richardson, San Francisco Bay Guardian
New York City
Hon ARAM & International Vibraphone Consultant (visiting) at the Royal Academy of
Further teaching engagements at
University of Utah, SLC (USA)
The Royal Conservatoire, Birmingham (UK)
The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (UK)
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow (UK)
Prins Claus Conservatoire, Groningen (NL)
Classes in jazz improvisation, arranging, composition, ensemble playing, etc
Masterclass "The Spirituality of Imperfection", which resonates with students and
This masterclass discusses how our shortcomings and weaknesses are as important to
our creative development as our accomplishments