Joey Berkley

Tenor Saxophone
Recording Artist

…migrating south from Toronto, Canada in 1978, Joey Berkley immersed himself in the competitive New York City jazz scene. The musician benefited from his experiences in Manhattan, and maintains that these early years of struggling were not only necessary, but also crucial to his musical development. In fact, his CD that was released in 1999 and marks his debut as the bandleader of the Joey Berkley Quartet, is aptly titled Made in NYC. The disc, which features many of Joey’s original compositions, came out on A- Records.

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Primary Instrument

Sax, tenor


Yonkers, NY

Willing to teach

Advanced students only.


I am an honour's graduate from the Jazz Performance program at Humber College in Toronto Canada. After graduation in 1979 I moved to NYC to study with Joe Allard and Eddie Daniels. At the same time I also enrolled in the toughest school of all- the New York City "music scene". Now in 2008, I am still trying to graduate!

“As a teacher I believe in trying to develop a discipline in each musician that focuses on mastering the fundamentals. From beginner to advanced, the musician maintains this endeavor in the overall pursuit of excellence-which is never-ending. I feel that the mastery of good technique – tone, finger execution, reading and theory – and the search of always trying to find ways to improve are essential to expressing artistry whether the music is classical, jazz or rock ‘n roll.”


Embouchure: This development is CRUCIAL. It affects everything- timbre, intonation, rhythm etc.
Fingers: Fast or slow, moving from note to note(s) it has to be precise-in any style of music.
Reading: In order to become a good independent reader you must understand the mathematical relationships in music i.e. counting, sub- dividing, beat/bar recognition, time signatures etc. This applies to all music-Classical, Jazz, Funk, Latin etc.
Theory: All musicians must have knowledge of music theory. What you are playing sounds better if you understand why.
Jazz Improvisation: A balance of theory- based fundamentals and listening. This includes transcribing and how to apply it. Also, interpretation of melody and stylistic differences in jazz.


Musicians teaching Musicians…

The role of Mouthpiecemusic LLC is to integrate performance and education. Rather than the traditional student-teacher relationship we relate to students as fellow musicians at various levels of development. Students are musicians and musicians are students.

Mouthpiecemusic is based on the premise that performing and teaching are mutually beneficial. By coming off the stage into the classroom each band is able to first inspire students, challenge them as musicians and then give each a sense of empowerment. Teaching by demonstrating is the most effective way to reach a student as much as motivate the professional musician to continue growing.

The JB4
Funkasaurus Rex
Four Good Reeds

These performing groups are effective instruments for teaching too by conducting workshops:

Ensemble precision
Jazz Improvisation and Interpretation
The Rhythm Section

As teachers we must be able to do what we instruct on any level whether it’s one on one, in a sectional or a full band “lesson”. During my tenure as the Artistic and Educational Director of WJO, when we were invited to work with a student jazz ensemble or run a jazz band festival WJO offered itself as a model to guide the students and demonstrate how a first-rate band performs- from the ensemble precision to an exciting solo. The groups contained within Mouthpiecemusic offer this up- close approach inspiring the students first, making the teaching more meaningful.


“As a music educator, Joey has multiple strengths. He is comfortable with rehearsing a woodwind class, giving an individual lesson, coaching students in jazz improvisation or leading a big band rehearsal.”

“Joey is an outstanding artist/educator who offers his knowledge of jazz, woodwind pedagogy and a love of teaching to the students of Fox Lane High School.”

Dr.Paul Tooker, Fox Lane HS Band Director

“Mr. Berkley has the ability to instruct in an enjoyable way while managing to teach all of the crucial elements of making music”

D.Carroll, music-graduate, Boston College

Clinic/Workshop Information

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11 Photos



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