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Joe Locke

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Biography of Joe Locke

Joe Locke is widely considered to be one of the major voices of his instrument. 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 recent solo projects, notably Four Walls of Freedom, a 6 movement suite featuring the late tenor saxophonist Bob Berg; Live in Seattle (Origin) by The Joe Locke / Geoffrey Keezer Group which won the 2006 Ear Shot award for Concert of the Year and his eloquent and vibrant quartet Force Of Four (Origin).

In 2011 Joe joined the Motéma label for four intrinsically different albums bearing witness of his immense stylistic versatility and ability to create artistic depth in a variety of contexts:

After Signing, the long-awaited follow-up studio album of Live In Seattle, 2012 also saw the release of Joe Locke’s first ever symphonic project, Wish Upon A Star, featuring Locke‘s Quartet with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra (NE), and the Jazz radio charts #1 Blues & Ballads album Lay Down My Heart in 2013. In 2015 Locke released Love Is A Pendulum - a suite based on a poem by Barbara Sfraga - is already being hailed the most important work of his career.

Locke’s latest album, Subtle Disguise (2018) represents “the total expression of who I am as a musician and human being.” and is is very much a happy continuation of his search to unite my love of composition with the connective qualities of melody and groove.

Locke is a five-time recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Mallet Instrumentalist of the Year” Award and has won numerous further awards and polls. In 2016 he was honoured with the induction into the Music Hall of Fame of his hometown Rochester, NY. He is an active clinician and educator in the United States and in Europe and is holding the title of Honorary Associate of London’s Royal Academy Of Music (Hon ARAM) since 2013.

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