Joel Ross

College Faculty:
Jazz Arts: Vibraphone

“Ross’ playing erupts through the layers of lush arrangements like consistent currents of electricity, high-powered and full of luminous energy” — DownBeat

Joel Ross is refining an expression that’s true to his sound and his generation. The vibraphonist composer regularly tops DownBeat Critics Poll and in 2017, he became one of the youngest artists to receive a coveted Residency Commission from The Jazz Gallery. Following the critically-acclaimed debut KingMaker (Blue Note, 2019), Ross issued his sophomore release Who Are You? (Blue Note, 2020), the culmination of a year-long exercise in risk-taking alongside members of his band Good Vibes: Jeremy Corren, Immanuel Wilkins, Kanoa Mendenhall and Jeremy Dutton.

With each release, Ross reaffirms a commitment to authentic discourse. He saturates live sets with a lyrical intuition that’s equally grounded in melody and phrasing. Collaborative work includes associations with Makaya McCraven (Universal Beings, 2018), Maria Grand, Kassa Overall, Nicole Mitchell, Gerald Clayton, Melissa Aldana (Visions, 2019), Walter Smith III (In Common, 2018), Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Marquis Hill.

Ross draws inspiration for his layered expression from vital music scenes of his native Chicago. Now based in Brooklyn, he’s pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz Studies from The New School in downtown Manhattan. As a leader, he’s appeared at such storied venues and iconic events as Smalls Jazz Club, Umbria Jazz Festival, The Jazz Gallery, Winter Jazz Fest, Newport Jazz Festival, Dizzy’s Club, BRIC Jazz Festival, The Blue Whale, North Sea Jazz Festival, The Brubeck Institute and Kuumbwa Jazz Festival, among others.

“Joel is not only one of the preeminent instrumentalists of this era, but he is one of the greatest musical visionaries of his generation.”

— Don Was, President, Blue Note Records

For more information on new music and performance dates, visit iplayvibes.com and follow Joel on his social channels at @imjoelmross.

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