Guitarist and composer Joe Diorio
was born in Waterbury, CT, August 6, 1936. Joe had over 50 years experience playing the guitar and over 40 years experience as a performer and recording artist. He has worked with such jazz luminaries as Sonny Stitt, Eddie Harris, Ira Sullivan, Stan Getz, Horace Silver, and Freddie Hubbard. He has recently toured Italy with Riccardo Del Fra (bass player with Chet Baker, Johnny Griffin, Toots Thieleman). In recent years he also recorded albums with contemporary performers including Robben Ford, Gary Willis, David Becker, and Mick Goodrick.
Over the course of his career, Diorio recorded 19 albums. His most recent releases include three CD reissues on the Art of Life Records label, ArtOfLifeRecords.com, “Straight Ahead to the Light” with percussionist Steve Bagby reissued in 2018, “Peaceful Journey” reissued in 2017 and “Solo Guitar” reissued in 2006. Other releases include: I Remember Wes, a tribute to Wes Montgomery; A solo guitar album We Will Meet Again; Double Take with live recordings of the performances with Riccardo Del Fra; and Rare Birds, a duo album with Mick Goodrick.
Highly respected as an educator, Joe has many books and an educational video to his name. He began teaching at the USC Thornton School of Music in 1984 and continued to work with students until 2007. Diorio conducted jazz guitar seminars throughout the United States, Europe, and Brazil. Additionally, Joe was one of the three founding instructors for the Guitar Institute of Technology (G. I. T.) in Hollywood California. Diorio wrote 14 instructional books including “Intervallic Designs for Jazz Guitar: Ultramodern Sounds for Improvising and Giant Steps”.
Joe Diorio passed on February 2, 2022, at the age of 85.
Read more articles
February 05, 2022
Joe Diorio (1936-2022)
June 01, 2018
Joe Diorio & Steve Bagby's "Straight Ahead To The Light" Reissued On...
June 19, 2017
Joe Diorio's "Peaceful Journey" Available Reissued on CD, WAV, FLAC &...
February 25, 2015
Joe Diorio: Exquisite Guitar
September 17, 2010
Joe Diorio and Sonny Stitt
May 30, 2009
An All-Star Benefit for Guitarist Joe Diorio
November 15, 2006
Joe Diorio's "Bonita" on Art of Life Records (AL1023-2)
November 06, 2006
Joe Diorio Benefit Show
April 11, 2006
Joe Diorio-"Solo Guitar" CD Art of Life Records AL1020-2
July 11, 2004
Strings Attached: : Larry Coryell, Joe Diorio, Jack Wilkins Live at...
Joe Diorio-"Solo Guitar" CD Reissue Review
Vintage Joe Diorio recording that was originally released in 1975 on the Spitball label
(SB-2). Some of the other records by Joe on that label were, Straight Ahead to the
Light with Steve Bagby, SoloDuo with Wally Cirillo, Rapport with Cirillo and Peaceful
Journey (solo). Peaceful Journey and Solo Guitar are my favorites of that series.
Solo Guitar is a huge departure from what was generally being played in 1975. The
innovations Joe was doing were hardly noticed as it sounded so easy and right. I
think Joe is using the middle pick-up as the sound is so sharp and biting. Joe layers
a few of the tunes, Windows, Invitation and Without You. The rest are solo. It's hard
to believe this recording is over 30 years old. Joe's interpretations are extraordinary
not to mention a display of technique that's mind boggling. The layered Windows is
a perfect display of what great jazz guitar can aspire to. The recording sound on the
CD has much better fidelity than the original record. Joe throws off his runs and 4th
excursions with such ease that I shake my head and think, How did he do that?The
unusual harmonies, moving lines, and single note passages are truly amazing. Joe's
composition Poem has a real 20th century feel to it. 20th century then meant
something else than now. You can hear Julian Bream play this and love it. Very
compositional. Invitation starts very quietly and introspectively. Joe then goes crazy
playing totally mad. (In a good way). I feel this track shows Joe's complete
dedication to his craft and artistry. India is another Diorio tune with lots of open
strings and a gentle, almost lullaby feel to it, some engaging rhythm and beautiful
expression. The standard, A Time for Love is on its own a great tune and here's Joe
doing a remarkable version. Still using open strings but somehow it doesn't sound
arranged. It feels like Joe is playing everything improvised with a few guide lines.
I'm sure Joe played this tune a million times and felt relaxed to try anything he
heard. Joe's own Call to the Center is a real gem! What in the world is this man
hearing? No restrictions at all. I always thought that certain guitarists like Barney,
Tal, Johnny and some others were not trapped by the conventions of the guitar. They
played music on the guitar and not just the guitar. Joe is another one who always
did that. Without You is the last track with a layered 2nd guitar. It's a lovely ending
to a remarkable set of music.