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Joe Escobar / Bio

Joe Escobar was originally born in the Bronx, N.Y., and was raised in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. He attended the public school system there, which had an excellent music program, from grammer school through high school. Joe excelled as a trombonist, received several music awards, and was accepted into the Fairleigh Dickenson University Honors Youth Wind Ensemble in his senior year. Joe played with several local "horn" bands, and in 1975 joined the soon-to-be Brunswick Recording Artists group, "Strutt". They played a combination of disco and funk. Their Album "Time Moves On" has been re-released through Sony Records. A couple of years later in 1977, Joe became part of Roulette Records' recording artists', "The Truth Band" when they added a horn section. Although Joe played in many styles of groups, his love was always jazz, especially the old standards. Throughout high school and the mid to late 70's Joe rehearsed and performed with various jazz groups and big bands to keep his love of jazz alive. Although he wasn't known as a vocalist at that time, he would occasionally sing a few tunes with these groups as well. In 1979, Joe decided to head west to California, where he quickly became regarded as one of the top trombone players in the San Francisco Bay Area. He performed with the Jimmy Price Big Band, the Jimmy Diamond Dixieland Band at the Fairmont Hotel, the San Francisco 49'ers Big Band as well as playing in strolling dixieland bands for Giants baseball games, just to name a few. In 1980 Joe was hired to play with "Jack Jive Shafer", performing jazz and dixieland at the world famous "Pier 23 Cafe". Joe stayed with the band for a few years, where he also started developing his jazz vocal chops. He became the leader of the house band at San Francisco's "Basin Street West", where he performed with his first group, the"Joe Escobar Quintet". After finding out that there was tons of work in Reno and South Lake Tahoe, Joe decided to embark an an entirely different musical endeaver. Music "MIDI Sequencers" and digital sampling keyboards as well as other synthesizers were starting to be available to performing musicians. Joe invested in a bunch of gear, taught himself how to program "MIDI" music, and took his talents to Nevada. After creating a MIDI library of over 300 songs, from Pop, to Country, to, of course, Jazz, Joe's Duo, "Rhythm and Motion" soon became one of the Reno/Tahoe area's most popular casino duos for several years. They had a house gig at Harrah's in Reno for a few years, as well as performing at many other casino/hotels in Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas. Joe enjoyed several lucrative years in the late 80's, early 90's, but because of corporate downsizing and some casinos closing up, the work slowly started getting harder to find. Joe performed with the Reno cabaret group "The Lelands" and for a while with "Sidro's Armada" in Las Vegas before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999. He still had some friends in the music business there, but would be basically starting over. Joe began working as a computer draftsman, and music became a part-time affair. Joe started working with the "Bill Travis Swing Orchestra" playing lead trombone and occasionally fronting the band as a vocalist. The band served as a great place to meet new players. It was in this band where he met his current piano player, John Quam. John brought Joe into a brief run with "The New Morty Show" as well as working together in a Chicago/B,S&T/Tower of Power style group called "Kiss My Brass" which played mostly at outdoor events. Throughout all this time, Joe would occasionally pick up a gig here and there using some of these new players in his re-formed, "Joe Escobar Quartet". Currently, Joe has been concentrating on songwriting and arranging and performs mostly at private events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

General Info

Band Members
Joe Escobar, John Quam, Bob Chandler, Bill Belasco
Artist Name
Joe Escobar
Profile Page

Contact Info

Oakland, CA
Joe Escobar

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