Joe McCarthy has led a diverse career as drummer/percussionist, bandleader, producer, and educator in a myriad of settings from symphony orchestra to bebop, big band, afro cuban, theater, and beyond. He is the founder, leader, producer, and drummer of Afro Bop Alliance Big Band, winner of the 2008 Latin Grammy for Latin Jazz Album of the Year.
Afro Bop was nominated in the same category for the 51st Grammy Awards for the Heads-Up release “Afro Bop Alliance,” which featured Dave Samuels. The group has just released its fifth recording, Angel Eyes, on the Zoho Record label.
Joe also co-leads the Vince Norman/Joe McCarthy Big Band, with two releases on the Origin record label. He has recorded and/or performed with Paquito D’ Rivera, Dave Samuels, Conrad Herwig, Slide Hampton, Eddie Daniels, Wayne Bergeron, and countless others.
Joe completed the Master of Music Performance degree at the University of North Texas in 1992 and has been teaching on the collegiate level ever since, currently holding adjunct appointments at Georgetown University, George Mason University, and Washington College. Active as a clinician, Joe has been a featured at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Jazz Educators Network International Convention, the National Jazz Workshop, the Jazz ’n Youth Exchange of Germany, and many others.
Joe recently completed a 20-year tour as chief petty officer with the United States Naval Academy Band, where he served as principal percussionist with the wind ensemble and chief in charge/drummer of the Next Wave Jazz Ensemble, one of the Navy’s two premier big bands. He proudly endorses Zildjian, Yamaha, Remo, Latin Percussion, and Vic Firth, featuring the Joe McCarthy signature drumstick.
Joe will present a public clinic on Monday, November 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Cogswell Hall, Room 121, and will be featured on the IUP Percussion Ensemble concert of November 21 at 8:00 p.m. in Gorell Recital Hall. Both events are on the campus of IUP and are free admission. His IUP residency is made possible by the Ed Sims Endowment and the IUP Department of Music.
Visit Joe McCarthy Music for video and audio samples.