Joey DeFrancesco’s emergence in the 1980s marked the onset of a musical renaissance. Organ jazz had been a form of music that literally went into hibernation from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties largely because of the introduction of high-tech, light-weight keyboards. It was Joey, however, that ignited the flame once again with the sound of his vintage Hammond organ and Leslie tone cabinet.
He not only illuminated this once dormant music form but brought back the many proponents of jazz organ who had been shuffled by record producers and club owners to lesser roles within the music industry. Befriending and supporting those who preceded him, Joey became the new-age proponent of an instrument that had been pushed aside in favor of the growing technology. Considered a child prodigy, Joey remembers as far back as age four, playing jazz tunes modeled by his father, Papa John DeFrancesco and memorizing music from the many jazz albums in their home. Papa John, a jazz organist himself, took young Joey under his wing and nurtured his rapidly developing skills, bringing Joey along with him to gigs, Joey would sit-in with as many seasoned Philadelphia musicians who were around.
Legendary players like tenor saxophonist, Hank Mobley, or drummer, Philly Joe Jones, would soon become aware of young Joey DeFrancesco and acknowledge his enthusiasm. Joey’s grandfather and namesake, Joseph DeFrancesco, was the patriarch and, himself, a musician’s musician; able to pick up a new instrument and teach himself to play. This gift was passed down to young Joey and now manifests itself in Joey’s extraordinary keyboard skills; piano playing; and organ wizardry - not to mention his undeniable mastery of the trumpet. Joey’s desire to play the trumpet began after touring with the great Miles Davis.
An interesting encounter would introduce the two; Miles was a guest on a Philadelphia television program where Joey was a band member. Instead of critiquing the featured high school trumpet players, Miles inquired about the organ player and quickly gathered Joey’s contact information. Joey would soon become one of the two youngest musicians ever to be asked by Miles to join the band (the other being Tony Williams). Years later, it would be Joey who would be complimenting his own jazz organ performances with exciting bursts of trumpet tones in the notably influenced style of former employer, Miles Davis. Initially,
Joey signed an exclusive recording contract with Columbia Records that resulted in and a series of well-received albums and CDs that lifted Joey’s reputation and stardom higher and higher. The roster of world-class musicians with whom Joey would play and record with amazed the music world. The phenomenon, known as Joey DeFrancesco, soon became a household name in the jazz world as he began to tour internationally with his own quartet and eventually trim his group to a trio that boasted the guitar work of Paul Bollenback and drumming of Byron ‘Wookie’ Landrum. This trio would become the longest running organ trio in modern times. The list of established musicians who felt inspired to perform with Joey grew.Read more
Year in Review
- In The Key Of The Universe by Chris Mosey
Year in Review
Radio & Podcasts
Radio & Podcasts
- Celebrating Monnette Sudler, Jaimie Branch, Joey DeFrancesco & Creed Taylor
- Joey DeFrancesco, Jaimie Branch & Natalia M. King
April 16, 2021
Popular Virtual Music Series 'Live From Van Gelder Studio' Announces...
May 11, 2017
Jazz this week: Joey DeFrancesco, George Benson, Denise Thimes, and more
April 29, 2017
StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Spotlight on Joey DeFrancesco
December 04, 2014
Jazz This Week: Roscoe Mitchell and Craig Taborn, Joey Defrancesco...
November 13, 2014
Joey DeFrancesco Releases 2-CD Christmas album "Home for the Holidays"
June 10, 2014
Joey DeFrancesco Plays Jimmy Smith's Authentic Organ At The...
November 15, 2012
Jazz This Week: Joey Defrancesco, Dan Thomas, Harry Miller, Montez...
November 04, 2012
STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Six from Joey Defrancesco
August 04, 2012
Joey Defrancesco, Larry Coryell and Jimmy Cobb Release Wonderful!...
October 19, 2011
Cinque, Featuring Joey Defrancesco and Steve Gadd - Catch a Corner...
" He has dominated the instrument and the field as no one of his generation has.” –Chicago Tribune
“Mr. DeFrancesco is a deeply authoritative musician, a master of rhythmic pocket, and of the custom of stomping bass lines beneath chords and riffs.” —New York Times
“…ranging from sublime to positively pyrotechnic… the best B3 player on the planet” - Jazz Times “Mr. DeFrancesco is a deeply authoritative musician, a master of rhythmic pocket, and of the custom of stomping bass lines beneath chords and riffs.” - New York Times “no organist today plays with the skill, harmonic depth, and authority of this phenomenon from Philly.” -Jazz Police
Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson
Without You, No Me
MONK'estra Plays John...
Mack Avenue Records
For Jimmy, Wes And...
Mack Avenue Music Group
In The Key Of The...
Mack Avenue Records
Days Like These
Toy Robot Music