Joel Ross

For the past several years, Joel Ross has been refining an expression that’s true to his sound and his generation. In 2019, the vibraphonist-composer released his anticipated Blue Note debut KingMaker to eruptive critical acclaim. He’s topped the DownBeat Critics Poll Rising Star category for vibraphone and in 2017, he became one of the youngest artists to receive a coveted Residency Commission from The Jazz Gallery. With the release of Who Are You? (Blue Note, 2020), Ross shares the culmination of a year-long exercise in experimenting and risk-taking on and off the bandstand.

Inspired by mentor Stefon Harris’ empathetic, whole-self approach to articulation, Ross has adopted an entire ethos dependent on truthful, ongoing communication. Honesty persists throughout his sets. And with each release, he reaffirms a commitment to authentic discourse, particularly among the members of his band Good Vibes: Jeremy Corren, Immanuel Wilkins, Kanoa Mendenhall and Jeremy Dutton.

A steadfast improviser, Ross saturates live sets with a lyrical intuition that’s equally grounded in melody and phrasing. He plays the moment. Rather than impose energies on the music, he allows moods to set, linger and transform. In recent years, he’s engaged established artists of similarly tenacious voices, including Makaya McCraven (Universal Beings, 2018), Maria Grand, Kassa Overall, Nicole Mitchell, Gerald Clayton, Melissa Aldana (Visions, 2019), Walter Smith III (In Common, 2018), Georgia Anne Muldrow, Jure Pukl (Broken Circles, 2019), Rajna Swaminathan, Wynton Marsalis & the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Marquis Hill (Modern Flows Vol. 2, 2018), who penned liner notes for Who Are You?

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“Ross swings effortlessly on the vibraphone, sometimes opting for a brittle sound reminiscent of Lionel Hampton, other times creating smooth and 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 somebody I’ll keep my eye on in the coming months.” —Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Photos

Joel Ross Concerts

Nov 6 Sat
Joel Ross
Bimhuis
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Nov 10 Wed
Nov 11 Thu
Joel Ross
Fasching
Stockholm, Sweden
Nov 20 Sat

Albums

Kinfolk 2: See The...

Edition Records
2021

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Broken Circles

Whirlwind Recordings
2020

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The Concert: 12...

Giant Steps Art
2020

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Dimensional Stardust

International Anthem/Nonesuch
2020

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Visions

Motéma Music
2019

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La Madrina

From: Visions
By Joel Ross

Chez Tortoni (Manet)

From: The Concert: 12 Musings for...
By Joel Ross

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