Joel Hoekstra

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Joel Hoekstra
Whitesnake San Antonio 2015 3.jpg
Hoekstra performing with Whitesnake in 2015
Background information
Born 13 December 1970
Orland Park, Illinois
Genres Rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar, vocals, cello, piano
Associated acts Night Ranger
Rock of Ages
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Whitesnake, Nelson (band)
Website Official Website

Joel Hoekstra (13 December 1970[1]) is an American guitarist currently in the band Whitesnake.[2] 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.[3][4] 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[5] and was the lead guitarist in the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages.[6] 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.[7]

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,[8] Knock Knock Never Stop[9] and High Road.[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] and toured with Whitesnake on their The Purple Album tour (2015–16) and The Greatest Hits Tour (2016).

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.[14] 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[15] album One Sided War and appeared in the video for the song "Radio".[16]

In 2017, Hoekstra served as a counselor at the 20th anniversary of the Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp along with Nancy Wilson, Vinnie Appice, Steven Adler, and Gregg Bissonette among others.[17] Hoekstra also performed with Brandon Gibbs ( Devil City Angels) on several dates and served as guitarist for Cher during her Las Vegas residency at the Monte Carlo. 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).[18]

Hoekstra appeared as guest guitarist on two episodes of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic (January 25, 2014 and March 14, 2015).[19] 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 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.

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.[20]


Solo albums[edit]

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

Joel Hoekstra's 13[edit]

Contributing albums[edit]


External links[edit]