Joe Bagg is making waves of late as the organist in actor/jazzer Jeff Goldblum's chart-topping Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. But for those in the know, the California native has been a first call keyboardist for years. Get to know more about our TALENT SCOUT Artist of the Week!
NAME: Joe Bagg
HOMETOWN: Los Angeles, CA
MUSICAL TRAINING: B.A. in Music (University of La Verne), M.M. In Music Performance (Rutgers University)
FIRST GIGS: Playing gospel music with the Smith Family Choir. I toured around Southern California playing in various African American churches that had no air conditioning. Then I ate amazing food at some church member’s house afterwards!
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Ray Charles, Keith Jarrett, Wynton Kelly, Larry Goldings, Billy Preston.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: Paradise and Lunch (Ry Cooder), New Day (Kevin Hays), Clube Da Esquina (Milton Nascimento), Amazing Grace (Aretha Franklin).
MY BIG BREAK: I don’t know if I’ve actually had one big break - it seems more like a series of little breaks gradually building over a long time. Some of those include being called to play with the great Bobby Hutcherson, touring with Larry Coryell and Alphonse Mouzon, playing on-screen in a couple Clint Eastwood movies, and certainly recording and touring currently with Jeff Goldblum.
LATEST PROJECTS: I’ve been recording pretty steadily recently. The most recent couple of recordings being the Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra (The Capitol Studios Sessions on Decca), and The Denny Seiwell Trio (Boomerang, Quarto Valley). I also have plans to record a solo piano project some tome next year.
FAVORITE KEYBOARDS AND WHY? I like the classic, "meat and potatoes keyboards" - piano, Hammond B-3, Rhodes, Wurly. On the road, if I can’t get a real B-3, I use a Hammond SK-2 (although at NAMM last year I played on a Hammond XK-5 and man that felt the closest to a playing a real B-3)! I don’t own a Dave Smith/Sequential keyboard , but whenever I’ve played one, I’m impressed with the warmth and hugeness of tone it produces.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? Playing some fun gigs coming up with Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra - parties for Funny or Die and Al Gore, The James Corden Show, Glastonbury Festival, going on the road a bunch next year and helping develop the fledgling Masters Degree program at Musicians Institute in Hollywood where I teach.
ADVICE TO THE NEXT GENERATION: It seems like they’re doing fine on their own and don’t need any advice from me! There are some amazing younger musicians out there producing music that’s blowing my mind. I guess if there’s one trend that makes me a little sad, it’s the falling out of favor of "swinging." It’s such an amazing feeling, I can’t imagine it’ll disappear forever, but it seems like fewer and fewer people are interested in pursuing and developing it.
For more information visit www.joebagg.com