Born in Iowa, grown in Missouri, and sprouting throughout the Midwest, Joel Gordon is a saxophonist and music educator on a journey to cultivate relationship with music and people.  As a musician and teacher, Joel strives to balance life on “both sides of the fence,” working in concert classical and jazz contemporary styles.

Joel became a bandleader and performing musician at the age of nineteen.  With a group of high school and college friends from Kansas City, Joel formed the Trouble Clefs: a big band that convened during summer and winter school breaks.  Over the course of three years and twenty-five concerts, the group evolved from entertaining at a backyard pool party to performing at the Future Stages Festival in Kansas City, MO and the Trails West! Festival in St. Joseph, MO.  During their run, more than fifty different musicians performed with the Trouble Clefs. Experiencing the connections with band members, families, and the community born out of this venture, Joel was inspired to become a musician and teacher.

As a classical saxophonist, Joel regularly records and tours with {trés}, a piano trio consisting of two saxophones and piano. The group is diligent in bringing baroque and classical era works into modern saxophone repertoire by composers such as Bach and Mendelssohn.  As well {trés} strives to represent Latin American composers such as Villa Lobos and Piazzolla in their programming.  With the trio, Joel performed at the 40th Annual International Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C. and the inaugural American Single Reed Summit. Joel has also performed on university guest recitals and several local concert series programs.  Joel studied classical saxophone primarily with Randall Smith and José Zayas-Cabán and additionally with Tim Timmons and Neil Ostercamp.

As a jazz musician, Joel recently recorded and released a full-length album with Kansas City-based jazz quintet, the Matt Cook Collective entitled “Along Those Lines.”  As a part of the Collective, Joel has traveled throughout the Midwest.  While on tour, the Matt Cook Collective has put on educational clinics for over 1500 public school students.  As well, Joel leads his own “chordless” quartet, the Happy Habitat. The group has featured some of the top young saxophonists in the country including Stephen Martin and Adam Larson.  Involved with the Kansas City music scene, Joel has performed at many prominent music venues including RecordBar, Green Lady Lounge, Soirèe Bistro, Knucklehead’s Saloon, and the Brick.  Joel studied jazz improvisation with Tim AuBuchon and Matt Otto.  Additional instructors include Bob Long and Neil Ostercamp.  As well, Joel was admitted and attend the 2014 David Liebman Saxophone Masterclass.

Joel is passionate about advancing music through education.  As a private studio teacher, Joel’s saxophone students have earned accolades both in the Missouri All-State Concert Band and the Missouri All-State Jazz Band.  His private students have also been accepted into and attended nationally-distinguished opportunities including the NAfME All-National Honor Concert Band, Interlochen Saxophone Institute, Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, and NYU’s Broadway Winds Summer Program. As well, Joel continues to develop his studio jazz teaching resource, The (Young) Adventure’s Guide to Jazz Improvisation.

As a director, Joel helped establish educational programs including the Northland Student Jam Session and Kansas City Area Youth Jazz.  In addition, Joel has taught at programs including the Charlie Parker Celebration Bebop Bootcamp and Kansas City Jazz Academy.  As a public school teacher, Joel served for three years as the Director of Bands at Platte City Middle School and an assisting teacher with marching bands, concert ensembles, and jazz groups at Platte County High School.  During his time at PCR-3, Joel helped many ensembles earn division I ratings, first place awards, and grand champion trophies at local and regional competitions.

Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music (2015) and a Master of Arts in Education of Music (2016) from Truman State University.  Professional affiliations include Kappa Delta Pi, the Missouri Association for Jazz Education, the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri Music Educators Association, Phi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha, and the National Association for Music Education.  Currently, Joel is an Area Director of KLIFE, a nonprofit Christian youth ministry program.  Joel lives in Kirksville, Missouri with his wonderful wife Megan, delightful daughter Ellie, and their two curious cats Izzy and Ollie.

icons8-pdf-48Joel Gordon – E-Press Kit

icons8-pdf-48Bio – Joel Gordon (Full)

icons8-compact-camera-48Joel Gordon – E-Photo Gallery



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