Joe Block is a pianist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. He began playing classical piano at the age of two before switching to jazz in middle school. While growing up in Philadelphia, he was fortunate to learn and study from older musicians on the scene and in jazz education programs at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz, the Kimmel Center, and Temple University. Joe currently resides in New York City where he attends both the Juilliard School (MM ’22) and Columbia University (BA ’21). He has studied with Frank Kimbrough, Ted Rosenthal, Bruce Barth, Marc Cary, and Geoffrey Keezer.
Joe has worked and played with many esteemed artists including Wynton Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Leslie Odom, Jr., Ari Hoenig, Justin Faulkner, Eric Alexander, Jaleel Shaw, Hannibal Lokumbe, and The Captain Black Big Band. As a bandleader (trio and quintet) and sideman, he has performed around NYC and Philadelphia at venues including Dizzy’s, The Django, Birdland, Smalls, Smoke, Alice Tully Hall, Café Bohemia, Chris’ Jazz Café, South Jazz Parlor, @exuberance, and the Kimmel Center. He has also played at the Monterey, Belize, Montclair, Mid-Atlantic, and Telluride Jazz Festivals. Joe has received recognition and awards from the National YoungArts Foundation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Telluride Jazz Festival, and the Next Generation Jazz Festival. In December 2018, he served as musical director and pianist for Wynton Marsalis’ annual holiday fundraiser and performance at Brooks Brothers in NYC. In December 2019, he played a weekend with the Kurt Rosenwinkel Quartet at Chris’ Jazz Café in Philadelphia, followed by a feature the next week in the Ari Hoenig Trio. He appears on the 2020 Grammy-nominated record “The Intangible Between” (Orrin Evans and the Captain Black Big Band).
In addition to performing, Joe is an avid composer and arranger. Hailed by Jazz at Lincoln Center as one of "jazz's most promising young composers", he has been commissioned to write or arrange music for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band, the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra, the Wynton Marsalis Septet, and the Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia. As an educator, he has his own private studio in arranging, theory, and jazz piano.