University of Rochester
Syracuse native Joe Magnarelli moved to New York City in 1986 and soon became a regular participant in the New York and international jazz scene. From 1987, he toured and recorded with Lionel Hampton and Brother Jack McDuff.
Joe currently has nine records out as a leader, and has played on numerous jazz labels as a sideman. In 1990, Joe was a semifinalist at the Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition in Washington, D.C. Joe made his debut as a leader with 1994’s “Why Not” (Criss Cross). He followed that excellent album with three others on the Criss Cross label: “Always There” (1997), “Mr. Mags” (2000) and “Hoop Dreams” (2005). Joe Magnarelli at Small's Jazz Club He subsequently released "Persistence" (2007) and "My Old Flame" (2010), his first big band recording as a leader. He also made two albums co-leading a sextet with the legendary Philadelphia trumpeter John Swana: “Philly-New York Junction” (1998), and “New York-Philly Junction” (2003).
In 2003-2006, Mags performed with the great Latin jazz conguero Ray Barretto’s New Sextet. Joe recorded on Ray’s “Time Was, Time Is” (O+ Music), which was nominated for a Grammy. Joe’s early career included touring and recording with Lionel Hampton, Jack McDuff, Toshiko Akioshi, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Harry Connick Jr. and the Hard Bop Quintet. Also, Joe has worked and toured with the Vanguard Orchestra, Jane Monheit, Jon Hendricks, Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes, Alvin Queen, Dado Maroni, Marty Sheller, Tom Harrell Big Band, George Gruntz, Harry Whitaker, Walt Weiskopf, Grant Stewart, Charles Davis, Nick Brignola, JR Monterose, Gary Smulyan, The Carnegie Hall Orchestra, Don Sebesky, John Pizzarelli, Aretha Franklin, Rosemary Clooney, Joe Williams, Michael Feinstein, and the Lincoln Center Orchestra.
Joe is currently an adjunct professor of music at the Juilliard School of Music and Rutgers University. He also conducts clinics and master classes around the world, sharing his musical experience and his knowledge from his past teachers. These teachers have included Jack Palmer, Sal Amico, Tommy Turrentine, James Moody, Garry Dial, Arnold Jacobs, and William Vachianno.
Mags, as he is known, first played music at age 12, starting with guitar and trumpet lessons. He also picked out songs on the piano by ear. Joe’s early performance experience, from elementary through high school, came via playing the trumpet and guitar in church. Later, while attending Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, he was the pianist and choir director at the Central Baptist Church there.
In 1986, Joe received a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from the State University of New York in Fredonia, and that year, he moved to New York City to pursue a career in music.
(Bio and photo from his website: www.joemagnarelli.com)
The Eastman Jazz Ensemble has been recognized as one of the world’s premier collegiate jazz performing organizations for three decades. Years before Eastman alumnus Chuck Mangione became the ensemble’s first faculty director, the band was established and governed by Eastman student musicians. In 1970, former Radio City Music Hall musical director Rayburn Wright was hired to develop the Eastman jazz studies and contemporary media program and in 1972 he succeeded Mangione as director of the Jazz Ensemble. Bill Dobbins, who led the group from 1989 to 1994, returned to the position in 2002 after an eight-year tenure as principal director of the WDR Radio Big Band in Cologne, Germany. Fred Sturm served as director from 1995 to 2002. The Eastman Jazz Ensemble has frequently received the award for “Best Big Band” in the Annual Down Beat Magazine Student Music Awards, most recently in 2000. It has frequently been featured at the Annual Conference of the International Association of Jazz Educators, most recently in New York City in 2001. The group has performed at the International Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland and in renowned concert halls throughout the world. In January 2015, the ensemble performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at New York’s Lincoln Center, presenting a Billy Strayhorn tribute during the Strayhorn centennial year. Guest performers and conductors with the group have included such highly acclamed jazz artists as Bill Holman, Clare Fischer, Bob Brookmeyer, Benny Carter, Benny Golson, Joe Henderson, Dave Holland, Joe Lovano, Bobby McFerrin, Maria Schneider, Toots Thielemans, Kenny Wheeler, and Phil Woods.
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