The Joe DeCara Group
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The Joe DeCara Group

Band Jazz New Age


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Built around an unprecedented father and son collaboration of original composition and guitar interplay, the "Joes" achieve a unique jazz sound by fusing various styles and genres. Although both guitarists possess their own individuality, the use of counterpoint, harmony, contrary motion and other devices allow them to blend as one voice. All material reflects the exploration of modern jazz concepts with traditional form, giving the Joe DeCara Group their innovative style.

Joe DeCara, Sr. became interested in the guitar at the early age of four. Having a good ear for picking out melodies he was soon learning popular songs by attending a neighbor's weekly band rehearsal. In 1964 The Beatles came out and changed the music world — their songs were a major influence on Joe's desire to become a professional guitarist. In the 1970's Joe became interested in classical guitar and concentrated his efforts on learning compositions by Villa Lobos, Tarrega, Fernando Sor, Johann Sebastian Bach and Matteo Carcassi to name a few. Concurrent with studying classical guitar Joe had an admiration for Jazz and was soon woodshedding hours a day learning the repertoire of the jazz legends. In 1975 he met and jammed with virtuoso jazz guitarist Joe Pass and got together whenever he was playing in town. He went on to meet and play with other Jazz greats, Lenny Breau and Ted Greene in the years to follow. In 1979 Joe moved briefly to Los Angeles, California and met studio guitar giant Dennis Budimir. Dennis introduced Joe to the studio which was unlike anything he'd ever experienced. The masterful movie scores and television themes performed by the finest musicians in the world left an indelible impression on Joe which further influenced his writing and playing style. Only spending several months in Los Angeles, Joe moved back to Baltimore, Maryland when his father fell ill and died. He has kept busy in the years thereafter as a performer, educator, writer, arranger and author. In 2005 Joe collaborated with his son (22), co-wrote the music for the cd "Kaleidoscope" and formed the "Joe DeCara Group". Joe says his collaboration with his son has been the most rewarding experience musically and inspirationally. "Playing guitar and writing new music with my son has rekindled the passion and enthusiasm I had when I started back at the age of four."

Having a full-time working musician for a father has given Joe DeCara, Jr. an entire lifetime of musical exposure. From a very young child, Joe was constantly surrounded by the sounds of many musical styles and genres, and this opportune upbringing has given him an innate and sophisticated understanding of the art of music. His talent and passion for music became apparent at the age of seven, when he began studying classical and jazz piano. After only a few lessons he began to experiment with his own musical ideas, and at age eight had composed several original classical-style pieces. However, shortly after, Joe's interest in the piano waned as he became more interested in playing the guitar. Having a world-class performer and guitar instructor right within the home, Joe began taking lessons with his father. In 1997 Joe entered Calvert Hall College High School and immediately joined the school's jazz ensemble and jazz combo. He began rigorous musical studies in theory, ear training and composition and had the chance to attend various master classes with artists such as Wynton Marsalis and Chris Vidala (Chuck Mangione). His progress over the four years eventually earned him a prestigious seat in the All-State Jazz Ensemble. In 2001 Joe matriculated to Loyola College in Maryland where he furthered his musical studies and continued to perform in numerous jazz ensembles, jazz combos and big bands around the Baltimore/Washington area. Since then Joe has paired up with his father to create the Joe DeCara Group, for which he now co-leads and co-writes. The Joes recently released their first entirely original album in 2006 entitled "Kaleidoscope", appropriately named considering the blend of two unique musical backgrounds and distinct eras that the Joes creatively combine.