Bassist Joe Policastro is a Chicago-based performer, composer, educator, and bandleader. Originally from Cincinnati, OH, he spent time performing in Europe, and settled in Chicago in early 2003. He is an in-demand bassist for vocalists, combos, and big bands alike. As a composer/arranger, he leads and a contributes to a wide array of ensembles. Visit the Groups page to find out more about the Joe Policastro Trio and other bands, projects, and collaborations. Read Joe's full Biography below for an in-depth look at his background and work. Visit the Services page for information regarding teaching, arranging, music editing, charting, and transcription services.
Chicago bassist, composer, and arranger Joe Policastro grew up in the fertile jazz, classical, and popular music scene of Cincinnati, OH. He studied Classical Double Bass Performance on full scholarship at Miami University. Joe earned his Bachelor of Music in Jazz/Studio Music from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from DePaul University in Chicago. After performing and recording in Germany, he settled in Chicago where he quickly established himself an in-demand musical voice as both performer and composer/arranger. He has performed and recorded with jazz luminaries such as Diane Schuur, Jeff Hamilton, Howard Levy, Phil Woods, Tim Ries, Ira Sullivan, Howard Alden, Rick Margitza, Jim Snidero, David "Fathead" Newman, and Billy Hart.
He leads the Joe Policastro Trio, and the group has two albums featuring his writing, arranging, and performing: 2013's West Side Story Suite For Jazz Trio and 2016's Pops! He also leads and co-leads the Gerry Mulligan-esque ensembles, Jeru, and the Mulligan Mosaics Big Band and the Mulligan Mulligan Mosaics Nonet for which he has extensively written and arranged. As composer/arranger, his work can be heard on recordings by numerous artists including Ira Sullivan and the Rob Parton Big Band.
As an educator, he has been a Ravinia Jazz Mentor, a Lecturer of Jazz Studies at DePaul University, and he is currently on faculty at Morton College, the Chicago Academy for the Arts, and the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory. He is happy to make Chicago his home along with his wife, Marie, and his children, Ava and Anthony, and his dog, Fritz.
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