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joe porcaro

It is our distinct pleasure here at Beato’s Blog to bring you our exclusive interview with the great jazz legend and master teacher, Joe Porcaro.

Walk through many a studio, sound set, or recording facility and Joe’s name will invariably come up. The Hartford, Connecticut, native has had quite a storied career that began in the East and wound up flourishing in the West. In our exclusive feature on “Joe P,” as he sometimes calls himself, we hear directly from the legend as he tells us how it all started all the way up and through his most recent stint when his quartet played at the legendary Cotton Club in Tokyo just last year.

Indeed, the patriarch of this great family has a lot to say starting with the beginning of his amazing career, to his life choices that positively affected so many lives, to his reflections on his professional accomplishments as well as his thoughts on heading one of the most musically talented families to ever grace the entertainment industry.

But at the bottom of it all is this humble and kind man who would give his time and energy to anyone in need. Thus, despite his accomplishments, his career, his legendary musical status, and, the endearing notoriety of his well known musical family, “Joe P.” is simply a nice and approachable guy. One won’t find arrogance, entitlement or pretentiousness with Joe P. That description just doesn’t fit this man.

So please take a listen to the life and times of Joe P. as told by the jazz master himself. This journey with Joe–we think–is a refreshing recount of a wonderful life and career that spawned so much good in music and this world. That thought is indeed corroborated by simply talking with anyone who has either studied under Joe, performed alongside him, or, those who have interacted with him. The respect and admiration that so many have shown for Joe P., his music and career as both a performer and teacher, and, his incredibly talented family, is nothing short of remarkable. In fact, it is heartwarming. So we salute you Joe P. and we thank you for being so giving with your time in making this project happen as well all that you did in your magnificent career which by the way, is still alive and well. We would not have missed it for the world.

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

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    Joe Porcaro is an enigma in the most positive sense.  He is regarded as one of the best jazz drummers in modern times, a driving force in the area of musical education, and, he is also the patriarch to one of the most renowned musical families in history which spawned the brothers Porcaro (Mike, Jeff, and Steve).  So, why the enigma?  Why the mystery? Because, if anyone could pull rank (so to speak) and get away with it, “Joe P.” can or could. Yet, if you spend any time at all with Joe you quickly realize that he’s not like that. Joe is in fact the exact opposite; he is the first to offer a helping hand as well as provide needed advice.  In fact, despite his great accomplishments, his brilliant career and, his stature in the music business, Joe P. is just simply a really nice–and approachable–guy. What Joe possesses in class, dignity, and respect, he lacks in arrogance, entitlement and pretentiousness.   That explains why he is genuinely one of the more beloved artists in the industry.

    That would also explain why we chose to talk with Joe P. and do a feature on Joe’s career.  A career that was a great one in and of itself and in and apart from the daunting success achieved by his three sons. Yes, the brothers Porcaro–in their own right–have accomplished so much.  However, before the three brothers there was a determined and talented young man by the name of Joe Porcaro.  That young man hailed from the State of Connecticut and he then made the courageous move to California that resulted in the paying of historic dividends for both Joe P. and his three boys as well as the entire Porcaro family.

    In our upcoming feature, we’ll talk to Joe about his career from the beginning all the way up to his recent trek to Tokyo for some memorable performances at The Cotton Club. We’ll also hear from Joe about his thoughts on the music industry and his family as well as some of the events that helped shape Joe’s career path. Not surprisingly, Joe has a lot to say along with the telling of some great stories.  We think it’s well worth the trip.  Therefore, please look for our upcoming feature on the Jazz Master and his magnificent career.  Despite the old saying, in this case the nice guy didn’t finish last.


    Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

    Earlier today we got the chance to catch up with the jazz master and legendary drummer/percussionist himself, Joe Porcaro, ahead of his quartet heading to Tokyo to perform at the iconic Cotton Club. The Joe Porcaro Quartet will perform there on November 13, 14, and 15. How does Joe feel about this opportunity? Listen to Joe P.’s response yourself:

    You can check out our prior features on this unique event below.

    September 14, 2015

    Earlier today, the leader of the Joe Porcaro Quartet (JPQ),  none other than the jazz master himself, Joe Porcaro, announced a lineup change for the upcoming dates that the JPQ will be performing in Tokyo in November, later this year. According to Porcaro, Berghofer is unable to make the trip due to a conflict in professional commitments, so in his place the JPQ will be enlisting Latin bass sensation Fernando “Nando” Raio. Joe P. had this to say to say about it:

    The Joe Porcaro Quartet
    The Joe Porcaro Quartet


    Jazz legend Joe Porcaro
    Jazz legend Joe Porcaro
    “We understood that Chuck had another commitment with a well known performer so after giving it some thought we decided to bring aboard Nando and I am excited about it.  This will be Nando’s first time with the JPQ. Nando was a student at the L.A. College of music and he is from San Paulo, Brazil. However, I have played with him previously at a jazz ensemble workshop. He is certainly the youngest of the group in his 30s and that gives us a different feel. But it really was his Latin feel that enticed me. Frankly, I hit it of with him and that’s not only because we do a good number of Latin numbers but also because Nando has a good jazz feel.”
    The jazz master who always is willing to share experiences
    The jazz master who always is willing to share experiences

    Speaking on the opportunity this presents for Raio, Joe had this say:

    “You know, I feel good about giving younger players a shot like this.  It’s also a boost because the Latin players are marvelous.  They are born with this feel that’s just natural.  It’s a great groove.
    Joe Porcaro is also the well known author of popular teaching books
    Joe Porcaro is also the well known author of popular teaching books
      I am excited to play with Nando and in fact we are doing a date before we go to Tokyo at Mambo’s Cafe in Burbank on October 6, 2015.  I can’t wait.  In fact, we had rehearsal tonight and it went very well.  I think this whole experience for all of us will be something special.”

    Indeed, for the jazz lover this is a can’t miss. Make sure to check out the JPQ in Tokyo at the Cotton Club on November 13, 14, and 15.  For more information, check out our original blog below which we first ran in August.

    You can also check out the video below which is Nando (Fernando Raio) performing with the Mark Isbell Brasilian Band.



    Here at Beato’s Blog we are just thrilled to announce that the Joe Porcaro Quartet will be performing for three nights in November at the legendary Cotton Club in Tokyo.

    Cotton Club
    Cotton Club

    The Cotton Club is a staple of Japanese night life and a premiere jazz venue rich in talent and history.  The JPQ will be appearing on Friday, November 13, Saturday, November 14, and Sunday, November 15.   Joining the jazz and teaching legend himself will be Emil Richards (percussion/vibes), Chuck Berghofer (bass), and Rich Eames (piano).

    Editor’s note: This lineup has so much history that we have to mention just some of it.


    Joe Porcaro
    Joe Porcaro

    • Porcaro is a legendary jazz drummer. Besides being the consummate teacher and having been one of the founders of the Los Angeles Music Academy, Joe has also recorded and/or worked with Sinatra (Nancy and Frank); Pink Floyd; Stan Getz; Natalie Cole; Gladys Knight; and, Madonna, to name a few.  Joe of course, is also the father the legendary Porcaro brothers (Jeff, Mike, and Steve) from the iconic band, Toto.



    • Richards has a long history of working with such named artists as Ed Shaughnessy, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, and, the Beach Boys.

    Emil Richards
    Emil Richards

    • Berghofer played on Nancy Sinatra’s These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ and also worked on television with Glen Campbell.  He also worked with Barbara Streisand and recorded with Sinatra.

    Chuck Berghofer
    Chuck Berghofer


    • Eames is a composer as well as performer having worked with Bill Holman Big Band, the Kim Richmond-Clay Jenkins Ensemble, the Joe La Barbera Quintet, Bob Sheppard, Jeff Richmond, Pete Christlieb, Rick Braun, Auracle, Doug Cameron, Jennifer Leitham, Ed Shaughnessy, and, many others.

    Rich Eames
    Rich Eames

    So earlier today while Joe was having lunch in Los Angeles with our Editor-in-Chief and his longtime friend, Fred Beato, Joe was kind enough to take a few minutes out to talk to us about the upcoming shows.

    K Bo: Joe, welcome.  How are you?

    JP: Ken, I am well.  Excited to be heading to Japan for these shows.  In fact, I am even a bit nervous [laughs].

    K Bo: I think it is wonderful.  Have you ever performed in Japan?

    JP: You know I have not although I have been there while Toto was performing there.  But I will say from what I have seen this particular venue is a beautiful one. 

    Cotton Club
    Cotton Club

    K Bo: Can you tell us about the upcoming preparation for this trip?

    JP: Well, it’s been interesting.

    Joe Porcaro
    Joe Porcaro

    I had to wait to sort out some health issues but once I was cleared by the doctor we decided to go ahead.  I have been playing myself and I recently did a show at Mambos Cafe in Burbank.  But these are seasoned and professional players I am with for these shows.  These guys are great.  We will be certainly be ready.

    K Bo: Joe, were you somewhat surprised that Japan is requesting your presence?

    JP: You know I am.  One of the first things I want to do is ask the venue why they wanted us [laughs].  But I have to tell you, I know I will see some familiar faces too.  I have a number of students in Japan and in fact I heard from one of them just the other day.  His name is Takashi Numazawa.  He is one of the best studio drummers in Japan and he tells me that he can’t wait to see me.  That was really nice to hear.  I also think some Toto fans will come out too.  I am thrilled at the opportunity to play in Japan.

    K Bo: Can you tell us about your backline?

    JP: Glad you asked.  I have had unbelievable support from Don Lombardi and John Good at DW Drums.  

    Don Lombardi--DW Drums
    Don Lombardi–DW Drums

    DW really stepped up and I really want to thank them for their support.  I really appreciate it. I will also be using Zildjian Cymbals and I appreciate their support too.

    John Good--DW Drums
    John Good–DW Drums

    K Bo: What can fans expect to hear in terms of material?

    JP: Well, they will hear Broadway tunes and some compositions written by Emil.  For the most part it will be bebop style although there will be some Latin influence too.  Also some good old jazz blues.

    K Bo: Finally, can fans expect to witness a Porcaro solo at some point?

    JP: [Laughs]  Yes.  For sure they will. 

    K Bo: Joe, have a great trip and I know you will keep us updated as you get closer.  In fact, want to talk after you get back stateside?

    JP: I would love to.  Really looking forward to this. Take care.

    Folks, without a doubt these three shows are going to be something to see.  There is a tremendous amount of talent and history that will be on that stage at the Cotton Club for those three nights.  By all means this is a show you don’t want to miss.  Stay tuned.

    For tickets and further information to the shows please visit the website for the Cotton Club or, contact:

    Cotton Club
    Tokia 2F, Tokyo Bldg., 2-7-3 Marunouchi
    Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6402
    Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

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