Interview with Joel Forrester


Joel Forrester, a former associate of Thelonious Monk and Baroness Pannonica protege, is the composer of more than 1600 tunes, a versatile and accomplished jazz pianist, leader of his own quintet and prolific recording artist. He has performed in an extraordinary diversity of settings – from large ensembles to a duet setting with a tap dancer! His playing draws from stride, boogie-woogie, bebop, trance and what he likes to call ‘salon pieces’ but each composition bears the stamp of this most individual artist.

Joel composed the theme for National Public Radio’s “FRESH AIR with Terry Gross. The theme has been broadcast more than 200,000 times in the last three years – it’s been played and heard coast-to-coast more often than any other jazz composition in American radio (both public and private stations) for the last 28 years! The theme from FRESH AIR can also be heard on his Ride Symbol CD, “STOP THE MUSIC”, a collection that showcases Joel’s brilliance as a solo pianist.

Recognized by the Paris Free Voice as “the world’s leading accompanist to silent films”, Joel Forrester has given concerts with film in Paris at the Louvre, the American Center, the Forum des Images, and the Museé d’Orsay.  For several years he performed with films in the Avignon Festival. In New York, he has played at the Film Forum, Brooklyn Museum, The Center for Photography, and Anthology Film Archives.

*for simplicity’s sake, we are going to call the Charlie Brown theme song “Charlie Brown”, tout simple. It was written by Vincent Anthony Guaraldi (* 17. Juli 1928 – 6. February 1976) an American Jazz Pianist and Composer.

For the full interview, click here