Desert Island Jazz
Joe Gilman (2013)

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(Photo by Michele Cantarele)

Joe Gilman is an accomplished triple threat: not only is he both a pianist praised by the likes of Bobby Hutcherson, Ingrid Jensen and Mark Levine, and also a composer, but he's made a name for himself as a superior educator.

Capital Public Radio's Gary Vercelli says Joe "has done more to put Sacramento on the [jazz] map than any contemporary artist". From his home-town base, Joe has taught at American River College, at Sacramento State, and at the Brubeck Institute in Stockton (Dave Brubeck himself is another fan of Joe's). His own education includes a bachelor's degree in piano performance in jazz from Indiana University, a master's degree in jazz and contemporary media from the Eastman School in Rochester, New York, and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Sarasota, Florida.

Every year from 1997, Joe was a regular finalist in the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida—a competition which has brought to fame a dozen now-household names. His persistence and consistency were rewarded by his own first-place finish in 2004.

Joe's recordings of the music of Dave Brubeck and of Stevie Wonder (two in each case) were excellent, as were a musical interpretation of contemporary painters, "Americanvas", and his latest musical sketches of M.C. Escher, "Relativity".

In his "spare time", Joe also toured a dozen countries in Africa as part of the Kennedy Center-USIA Jazz Ambassador program.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Bobby Hutcherson Wise One Like Sonny Kind of Blue
# 2 John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman My One and Only Love Impulse
# 3 Ella Fitzgerald with Ellis Larkins Songs in a Mellow Mood People Will Say We're in Love Decca
# 4 Dave Brubeck Bossa Nova USA The Trolley Song Columbia
# 5 Erroll Garner Body and Soul The Way You Look Tonight Columbia
# 6 Miles Davis Someday My Prince Will Come Old Folks Columbia
# 7 Herbie Hancock Gershwin's World Cottontail Verve
# 8 Keith Jarrett Belonging The Windup ECM
# 9 Bobby Hutcherson Total Eclipse Herzog Blue Note
         
Book Alex Ross, "The Rest Is Noise"
         
Luxury Item The Permanent Collection at MoMA or The Louvre
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