Joe Gilman

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Joe Gilman
Born (1962-06-27) June 27, 1962 (age 52)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Pianist
Instruments Piano

Joseph Alan ("Joe") Gilman (born June 27, 1962) is an American pianist, composer and music educator currently residing in Sacramento, California. Gilman, who teaches at American River College and Sacramento State University in Sacramento and the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California, works in a variety of genres, but is primarily known for his work as a jazz pianist, arranger, composer, and educator.


Gilman began studying piano at the age of seven and later earned Bachelor degrees in piano performance and jazz studies at Indiana University, a Master's degree in jazz and the contemporary media from the Eastman School of Music, and a Doctorate in education from the University of Sarasota. He studied with Yuriy Oliynyk, Jerry Murphy, Frank Wasko, David Baker, James Tocco, Karen Shaw, Bill Dobbins, and Rayburn Wright.[1]

Gilman has simultaneously developed two careers; as an educator and as a recording artist and performer. In 1992 he began directing the music theory and jazz studies programs at American River College,[2] but also released the CD Treasure Chest, with notable musicians Joe Henderson, Jeff "Tain" Watts, and Robert Hurst.[3]

In 1997, Gilman founded Capital Jazz Project, a Sacramento based noprofit organization which features thematic jazz presentations.

In 1998 and 2000, Gilman toured twelve countries on the African continent as a part of the Kennedy Center/USIA Jazz Ambassador program. The tour included regular performances with jazz guitarist Steve Homan to foreign dignitaries and resident audiences, performing with local musicians, and offering lectures and clinics to aspiring jazz performers.[4]

From 1997 to 2004, Gilman was a regular finalist in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida. He was the grand prize winner in 2004.[5]

In 2004, Gilman began a series of recordings for the Sunnyside and Capri labels featuring reinterpretations of the music of Dave Brubeck and Stevie Wonder. His later recordings presented musical interpretations of Contemporary American painters (Americanvas) and the sketches of M.C.Escher (Relativity).

In 2005, Gilman became the music director of the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California.[6]

In 2006, Gilman became a regular accompanist to jazz vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, and has since toured the Blue Note jazz clubs in Japan, Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and Birdland in New York, Jazz Alley and The Triple Door in Seattle, Yoshi's in Oakland and San Francisco, the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, and jazz festivals such as Estoria (Portugal) Pescara and Umbria (Italy), Jazz Baltica (Germany), Sedona (Arizona), and Boston.

In 2012, Gilman became Artist in Residence at the Brubeck Institute.

Musical influences[edit]

Although originally influenced by ragtime music, Gilman found jazz piano icon Dave Brubeck in his formative teen years. Later he immersed himself in the recordings of Oscar Peterson, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis. Because of his classical studies, Gilman has also incorporated the concepts of Igor Stravinsky and Sergei Prokofiev into his unique style.


  • 1987 Joe Gilman (Artful Balance)
  • 1988 Artfully Beatles (Compilation; Artful Balance)
  • 1990 Here, There, and Everywhere (Artful Balance)
  • 1992 Treasure Chest (Timeless)
  • 2000 Duality w/ Steve Homan (Nefertiti)
  • 2004 Time Again; Brubeck Revisited Vol. 1 (Sunnyside)
  • 2004 Claude Bolling Suites 1 and 2 for flute and jazz piano trio (Cantilena)
  • 2005 Time Again; Brubeck Revisited Vol. 2 (Sunnyside)
  • 2006 View So Tender; Wonder Revisited Vol. 1 (Capri)
  • 2007 View So Tender; Wonder Revisited Vol. 2 (Capri)
  • 2009 Wise One/ Bobby Hutcherson (Kind of Blue)
  • 2010 Americanvas (Capri)
  • 2012 Relativity (Capri)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1997 Great American Jazz Piano Competition; 1st runner-up
  • 1998 Great American Jazz Piano Competition; 2nd Place
  • 2000 Great American Jazz Piano Competition; 3rd Place
  • 2002 Great American Jazz Piano Competition; 2nd Place
  • 2004 Great American Jazz Piano Competition; Grand Prize Winner
  • 2005 Brubeck Scholar Award (University of the Pacific)


External links[edit]