Utterback, Dr. Joe

Utterback, Dr. Joe photo

Church and/or Role
First Congregational Church, Stratford, CT / Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT

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Dr. Joe is a celebrated American Jazz Pianist, Director of Music for First Congregational Church, Stratford and Adjunct Professor at Sacred Heart University.

Much involved in the New York City music scene, Dr. Joe performs annually for the Tony Awards gala reception, in the lobby of The Empire State Building during the December holiday season, and a weekly gig. In addition to his numerous appearances in Fairfield County, Connecticut, the artist gives frequent solo concerts throughout the United States, at times participating in radio interviews before these concerts. Dr. Joe often presents improvisation workshops at regional and national conventions of such groups as the American Guild of Organists and the National Federation of Music Clubs.

Joe’s career in the recording industry dates from 1960’s vinyl. The pianist, already recognized for his improvs, recorded Christmas Eve at the Wurlitzer on the soon-to-be demolished theater organ in Wichita’s doomed Miller Theater. Nearly thirty yeats later in 1996, Connoisseur Society, Inc. released Joe’s first solo jazz piano CD, Gershwin: Porgy and Bess Jazz Suite. Five additional Connoisseur CDs followed: Blues and Ballads at the Movies, Night & Day, Christmas on the Mountain, Night Train and Stardust. In 2004, Joe recorded Dr. Joe’s JAZZ GOSPEL and Jazz Dreamz under his own publishing label Jazzmuze, Inc. In June 2005, Connoisseur released Stardust, recorded right after 9/11. With wonderful ballads, the CD is late night listening par excellence! Joe is also actively involved in local studio work, recording with New York City cabaret singers.

An internationally recognized composer, Joe has created jazz-influenced works for piano, organ, harpsichord, voice, and instrumental combinations, which have won him ASCAP awards annually since 1991. His more than 225 compositions have been performed in concert venues and in church services worldwide. Recordings of his compositions include Skyscape (Arktos) by the Canadian Duo Majoya; Spirituals and Rags: Jazz Harpsichord (AFKA) by Australian-born harpsichordist Audley Green; utterbackanalia (Jazzmuze, Inc.) by English organist Andrew Shenton; Concert Fantasy on Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess (Connoisseur Society, Inc.) by pianist David Allen Wehr. Individual selections have been recorded on issues by the Organ Historical Society, Pro Organo, Ethereal, and Raven, among others.

A Kansas native, Dr. Joe holds degrees in piano from Wichita State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Kansas.

Dr. Joe’s official website and concert dates is www.joeutterback.com