Take Five With Joseph Daley
After nearly 40 years of recognition as one of the consummate sidemen on the adventurous music scene with remarkable artists like Sam Rivers, Carla Bley, Gil Evans, Charlie Haden, Taj Mahal, and many more, Joseph Daley stunned musicians and fans alike with his brilliant CD, The Seven Deadly Sins (Jaro, 2010). The album also received rave reviews and made several Best of 2011 lists. The Seven Deadly Sins features his Earth Tone Ensemble, a full jazz orchestra augmented by six additional low-toned horns, a seven-member rhythm section, and four special guests. This powerfully innovative music mines the same rich vein of musical expression as that of immortals like Charles Mingus, Duke Ellington, and George Russell.
Whether performing with his large ensemble, his evocative Ebony Brass Quintet, a trio, duo, or as a soloist, his sheer musicality, deeply hewn emotion, and jubilant innovation are always at the core of Daley's most singular musical expression. Best known for playing the tuba, Daley also plays euphonium and valve trombone, and is recently enjoying a growing reputation as a visionary composer, bringing him worldwide acclaim.
Born in New York City's Harlem, Joseph Daley began his musical studies in elementary school and received high honors and recognitions throughout his school years, including the renowned High School of Music and Art, and was a member of the most prestigious ensembles in the New York City school system. During his high school years, he began performing on the Latin music scene alongside Rene McLean, Mongo Santamaria, Andy Gonzalez, Alex Blake, and many others.
A scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music resulted in a Bachelor's Degree in Performance and a Master's Degree in Music Education led to a career as an educator in the New York and New Jersey school systems from 1976 until his retirement in 2005. Heavily dedicated to the education of young people to the highest values in musical understanding and expression, Daley balanced his extensive educational commitments with recording and performing in the ensembles of some of the most provocative musicians on the contemporary jazz scene. In addition to those mentioned above, Daley has contributed heavily to groups led by artist like Muhal Richard Abrams, Makanda Ken McIntyre, Jason Hwang, and Dave Douglas. Joseph Daley was an original member of Howard Johnson's groundbreaking tuba ensemble, Gravity. Daley has also been a longtime collaborator with highly respected composer, ethnomusicologist, and master of non- Western instruments, Bill Cole, a relationship that is still intact.
Joseph Daley is also currently a member of the highly eclectic ensemble, Hazmat Modine, under the direction of visual artist Wade Schuman. It was Schuman's paintings that helped inspire the creation of Daley's Seven Deadly Sins project, which was developed at the McDowell Colony in 2001.
On top of his busy schedule, Daley's focus right now is on his next recording project, The Seven Virtues, which features a large string ensemble. He has also designed an extensive series of educational projects for the university level and will be embarking on a series of residencies and performance-based projects.
To sum up the purpose and commitment of Joseph Daley, the tuba player says, "If the music I compose provides one wit ha sense of beauty, inner peace, and instropection, then I am pleased."
Tuba and euphonium.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
When I began to realize the power of sound.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
John Coltrane's A Love Supreme (Impulse, 1965). Coltrane draws the music on this project from the depths of his creative soul and it has a stimulating effect of one's spirituality.
CDs you are listening to now:
Marty Ehrlich, A Trumpet in the Morning (New World Records, 2013).
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Jazz is recognized internationally as a the creative environment for many artists. It has assimilated musical concepts from the many diverse musical cultures of the world. This symbiotic relationship has broadens the appeal of the music while it simultaneously nourishes the growth.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
In my eyes the most essential element is strong support for music education in the schools. A musically educated audience will provide strong support to keep the art form alive and growing.