Biography & Career
Chicago native Joel Ross has performed with historic and seasoned artists - Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, Louis Hayes, and Christian McBride - as well as with cutting-edge luminaries like Ambrose Akinmusire, Gerald Clayton, and Marquis Hill. Twice selected as a Thelonious Monk Institute National All-Star and a 2013 YoungArts Jazz Finalist - he's also had the opportunity to perform at the Monterey, Chicago, and Marciac Jazz Festivals - and - at internationally celebrated venues like Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York, SF Jazz in San Francisco, and Duc de Lombards in Paris.
Playing the drum kit as early as three years of age, Ross learned other percussion instruments & approaches beginning in grade five, in his tenth year. When starting his work on Vibes, he engaged both classical and jazz works, and did so throughout high school. In his last year there, Ross also began playing the piano in a more serious way.
Ross completed a two year fellowship with the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet in California, and moved to New York in 2015 to continue his education at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Winning first place at the 2016 BIAMP PDX Jazz Festival 'Jazz Forward' Competition, and numerous Downbeat awards with the BIJQ, he was also a winner of the Keep an Eye International Jazz Competition, in Amsterdam. A fitting addition to trumpeter Marquis Hill's wonderful group - before their 2016 European tour - Ross also leads his own ensemble, ‘Good Vibes’, and has just recorded his own debut album, aptly titled "Good Vibes," to be released in August.
Here is a small sampling of the celebration that always greets Mr. Ross' vision-rife vibes:
“...Ross’ precocious creativity, facility, and confidence were downright shocking. His style is so unique and developed that it changed my image of the vibraphone itself. Though his musicality [shone] brightly, I was most impressed by the revolutionary way in which he approached the physicality of the instrument, reworking classic limitations as creative allowances. In contrast to the metallic sustain of players like Gary Burton, Ross’ tone was brittle, percussive and woody; instead of letting his notes ring out and wash over each other indefinitely he exploited the relatively sharp decay of each hit. This allowed him to throw down precise flurries while sounding neither muddy nor blunted.” ~Asher Wolf, All About Jazz
“Ross swings effortlessly on the vibraphone, sometimes opting for a brittle sound reminiscent of Lionel Hampton, other times creating smooth, expressive lines in the vein of Milt Jackson. Yet while Ross’s sound is grounded in tradition, his rhythmic approach is very contemporary— intensely syncopated and excitingly abstract.” ~ Kevin Laskey, The Jazz Gallery
“[Ross is a] bright young vibraphonist on his own rocket-like trajectory,...he’s someone I'll keep an eye on!” ~ Nate Chinen, The New York Times
Joel Ross, Marquis Hill Blacktet
June 16 - 17 | New York, NY
Jerry Tachoir, Tachoir Duo
June 17 | Nashville, TN
Chase Jackson, MDK with Detroit Wind Symphony
June 18 | Detroit, MI
Jim Cooper, Lake Effect Jazz Combo
June 18 | St Joseph, MI
Beth Gottlieb, Lt Dan Band
June 18 | San Diego, CA
Jim Cooper, Just Jazz
June 22 | Southfield, MI