Joel Hoekstra

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Joel Hoekstra
Hoekstra performing with Whitesnake in 2019
Hoekstra performing with Whitesnake in 2019
Background information
Born (1970-12-13) December 13, 1970 (age 52)
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
GenresRock, hard rock, heavy metal, blues rock, glam metal

Joel Hoekstra (born December 13, 1970[1]) is an American guitarist currently in the band Whitesnake. Hoekstra also tours as a guitarist for Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The son of classical musicians, he started out playing cello and piano at a young age, but it was hearing Angus Young of AC/DC that inspired him to start playing the guitar.[2][3] He was raised in the suburbs of Chicago, in Orland Park, but has lived in New York City since 2001.

Hoekstra has performed with Trans-Siberian Orchestra[4] and was the lead guitarist in the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages.[5] He also made a cameo appearance alongside Sebastian Bach, Nuno Bettencourt, Kevin Cronin and Debbie Gibson in the big screen movie adaptation of Rock of Ages.[6]


Night Ranger[edit]

In 2008, Hoekstra joined Night Ranger and combined with guitarist Brad Gillis as a part of the group’s dual guitar driven sound. Hoekstra toured with Night Ranger and performed on several albums with the group and appeared in the videos for the songs Growin' Up In California,[7] Knock Knock Never Stop[8] and High Road.[9] In 2011, Joel filled in for Mick Jones in Foreigner while continuing to play with Night Ranger on the same tour.[10]


In 2014, Hoekstra joined Whitesnake as their guitarist alongside fellow guitarist Reb Beach. Hoekstra played on The Purple Album (released May 2015) which was a re-imagination of classic songs from David Coverdale's time as the lead singer for Deep Purple. Hoekstra appeared in the videos for the songs "Stormbringer",[11] "Gypsy"[12] and "Soldier of Fortune"[13] off The Purple Album and "Shut Up & Kiss Me" and "Trouble is Your Middle Name" videos off the Flesh and Blood album. Hoekstra was co-writer with Coverdale on six of the songs on Flesh and Blood.[14] He has toured with Whitesnake on their The Purple Album tour (2015–16), The Greatest Hits tour (2016-2018) and their Flesh and Blood tour (2019).


Hoekstra played guitar for Cher on the Here We Go Again Tour of 2018-2020.[15] He also served as guitarist for Cher during her Las Vegas residency at the Monte Carlo.[16] Hoekstra performed at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards as the guitarist for Cher on the songs "Believe" and "If I Could Turn Back Time" as Cher received the Icon Award.[17]

Side projects and guest appearances[edit]

In 2015, Frontiers Records released the debut album Dying to Live from his side project Joel Hoekstra's 13, to rave reviews.[18] The album featured performances by Russell Allen, Vinny Appice, Tony Franklin, and Jeff Scott Soto. In 2016, Hoekstra played on Michael Sweet’s chart-topping[19] album One Sided War and appeared in the video for the song "Radio".[20]

Hoekstra served as a counselor at the 20th anniversary of the Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp where he played along with Nancy Wilson, Vinnie Appice, Steven Adler, and Gregg Bissonette and others.[21] Hoekstra also frequently plays acoustic duo shows with singer/guitarist Brandon Gibbs (Devil City Angels). Hoekstra also performed with Paul Shortino on the song "War Cry" on the album Sinister (released on October 27, 2017) by Appice (Carmine Appice and Vinny Appice).[22]

Hoekstra appeared as guest guitarist on two episodes of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic (January 25, 2014, and March 14, 2015).[23] and has performed on stage and in the studio with many artists including Foreigner, Dee Snider, Jeff Scott Soto, Jim Peterik, The Turtles, Big Brother & the Holding Company, and many more.

Hoekstra has contributed to many articles in Guitar World magazine and in 2017 Guitar World released an instructional DVD titled Hard Rock Lead Guitar Master Class with Joel Hoekstra.[24]


Solo albums[edit]

  • Undefined (2000)
  • The Moon Is Falling (2003)
  • 13 Acoustic Songs (2007)

Joel Hoekstra's 13[edit]

Contributing albums[edit]


  1. ^ "Rock 80's,90's & Beyond. Get Your Rock On ! N.Ireland & The World". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Joel | Night Ranger". Archived from the original on 2012-07-29. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
  3. ^ "Joel Hoekstra - Glide Magazine". Archived from the original on 2011-11-17. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
  4. ^ Karlovits, Bob. "Review: Trans-Siberian Orchestra put on high-powered show". Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Broadway Band » Rock of Ages - Hold on to That Feelin&#039". Archived from the original on 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
  6. ^ "Joel Hoekstra Appears in "Rock of Ages" | Jun 26, 2012 | Success Story at Musicians Institute". Archived from the original on 2012-07-04. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
  7. ^ "Night Ranger - Growin' Up In California (Official Video)". YouTube. 12 May 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  8. ^ "Night Ranger - Knock Knock Never Stop (Official / New Album / 2014)". YouTube. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  9. ^ "Night Ranger - High Road (Official / New Album / 2014)". YouTube. 5 May 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  10. ^ "Joel Hoekstra - the Busiest Guitarist You've Never Heard of".
  11. ^ "Whitesnake - Stormbringer (Official Video) (The Purple Album / New Studio Album / 2015)". YouTube. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Whitesnake "The Gypsy" (Official Video) - The Purple Tour 2015". YouTube. 24 November 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Whitesnake - Soldier of Fortune (Official / New / Studio Album / 2015)". YouTube. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Listen to new Whitesnake song". 5 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Turn Back Time with Classic Cher". 26 May 2017.
  16. ^ "One-On-One with Whitesnake's Joel Hoekstra | the Aquarian".
  17. ^ "Joel Hoekstra: From Broadway and Beyond -". 31 May 2017.
  18. ^ "JOEL HOEKSTRA's 13 - Dying To Live (Review)". 16 October 2015. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  19. ^ ""/> <meta property="og:description" content="". Archived from the original on 2022-03-10. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  20. ^ "STRYPER Frontman MICHAEL SWEET Releases Video For 'Radio' Song". 25 August 2016. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  21. ^ "Steven Adler, Vinny Appice + More at 2017 Rock Fantasy Camp". Loudwire. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  22. ^ "Legendary Drummer Brothers CARMINE And VINNY APPICE To Release 'Sinister' Album In October". 3 August 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  23. ^ "That Metal Show - Season 14 Episodes (TV Series)". VH1. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  24. ^ "New DVD: Hard Rock Lead Guitar Master Class with Joel Hoekstra". Retrieved 18 July 2018.

External links[edit]