Joe Bagg

Instructor of Jazz Piano

Evans Music Center, MSC: 018

Joe Bagg studied with the legendary jazz pianist Kenny Barron at Rutgers University where he obtained his Masters Degree in Music. After that he spent some time in the Army as a Russian linguist stationed in Germany, moving back to the states to California where he was a fixture on the Los Angeles jazz scene for 25 years before relocating with his family up to Portland, Oregon. In 1997, Joe started playing the Hammond B-3 organ, and has appeared in downbeat magazine’s Critics Poll for 15+ years running now. Recently, he was featured performing on screen in the Clint Eastwood movies J. Edgar and Jersey Boys. He’s performed on the television shows The Jimmy Kimmel Show, The Today Show, The Graham Norton Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden and numerous others. He is also a member of Hollywood actor Jeff Goldblum’s band The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra which recently released a recording on Decca records debuting at #1 on the Billboard, iTunes and Amazon jazz charts.

In Los Angeles, Joe was sought after by an impressive range of prominent musicians including the legendary vibist Bobby Hutcherson, Grammy winning composer Bill Holman, the legendary drummer Billy Higgins, Grammy nominated guitarist Anthony Wilson, jazz legend Charles McPherson, trumpeter/vocalist Jack Sheldon, fusion guitarist Larry Coryell, drummer Alphonse Mouzon, vocalist Madeleine Peyroux, Grammy nominated trombonist/arranger Alan Ferber, and many others. He’s also been fortunate to share the stage with renowned artists like Macy Gray, Brian McKnight, Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole and Tierney Sutton among others. Joe has appeared on recordings featuring a diverse range of artists including Miley Cyrus, Fiona Apple, Sharon Van Etten, Imelda May, Gregory Porter, Gina Saputo, Bob Mintzer and many others. In 2019 he had the rare privilege of playing for the Queen of England at Royal Albert Hall. He has taught at a number of colleges and universities over the years, but currently teaches jazz piano at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and in the Bachelor Degree department at Musician’s Institute. He also maintains a busy gigging, recording and touring schedule.

“A masterful organist”

Los Angeles Times

“A highly refined player with a light touch who listens” downbeat

“An inventive pianist”

San Francisco Chronicle

Whether playing behind the melody or comping during solos, Bagg hits just the right notes at just the right volume with just the right feel every single time. It’s not so much that he dominates the proceedings, rather it’s obvious that these compositions and their subsequent solos would not have the spark and drive without him. He doesn’t just prod the horn players on to some great work - he builds with them, laying out the colors and alternate chord voicings with such a refined sense of taste it’s a wonder he isn’t more of a household name Jazz Review

“Organist Joe Bagg has a subtle but very on-target touch” All About Jazz

“In particular, organist Joe Bagg continually steals the show” Allmusic