Joe Locke

Class of 2016

Joe Locke is a renowned vibraphonist who is heralded internationally as one of the major voices of his instrument, earning a top spot on Jazz Week album charts, the title “Mallet Player of the Year” several times from the Jazz Journalists Association, and the Ear Shot award for “Concert of the Year.” Locke has more than 30 acclaimed recordings to his credit and has performed with a diverse range of musicians, including Grover Washington Jr., Cecil Taylor, Dianne Reeves, Ron Carter, The Beastie Boys, and the Münster Symphony Orchestra.

Locke has mastered an instrument that has catapulted only a handful of players to the forefront of modern jazz. The Times of London has said he is “set to become the pre-eminent vibraphonist in jazz” and the Penguin Encyclopedia of Jazz stated, “In the select group of contemporary vibes players, Locke has claims to head the list.” He is an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he holds the position of International Vibraphone Consultant. Locke’s latest album, Love is a Pendulum, has been featured in a number of “Best of 2015” lists, including those of DownBeat Magazine, Jazz Times, and critic Jack Garner in the Democrat and Chronicle. Locke’s family moved to Rochester, N.Y. from California when he was young. While he is a self-taught improviser, he mastered his craft while in high school, studying classical percussion and composition at the Eastman School of Music.