Vulnerability in Music


I am on a constant journey to improve myself as a person but at the same time, I spend an exhaustive amount of time wanting to improve myself as a musician.

In my quest to master some of these styles, I often look to my peers and even more so, to people I respect and look up to as musicians, to assist me. Some people who know me, might argue that I do this more then I should.  They would say “Joe, you are talented and you don’t need to look outside of yourself for the answers”.

I grew up thinking that if you ask for help, which is something I have become really good at; maybe too good, it is a way for you to learn and expand on your knowledge.  Asking for help also allows you to get places in life that without asking, might have taken longer or maybe not have come your way at all.

I digress…the overall point I’m wanting to make here is, if you make yourself vulnerable  it feels like you’ve dropped yourself down a notch by being honest and sincere with the people around you.

I think musicians can be some of the biggest culprits when it comes to being open, honest and vulnerable.  We live in a world of “Never let them see you sweat!”  Life is competitive but musicians seem to be extremely competitive with each other even to the point where another musician who doesn’t even play the same instrument as you do, has this edge of competitiveness that astounds me.

I put myself out there all the time and the feeling I’m now getting is, as I expose thoughts, my fears, the things I feel need improvement, my inner most goals and desires, there are very few people out there that sincerely care about helping you.  The moment you open your mouth to them, you are now a lesser musician then them.  You are now expected to look up to them from that moment forward and most likely, at least in their eyes, you will never be equal to them or even worst, better.

I have some great people in my life who are part of my inner circle and I have asked them to assist me on my journey to become the best musician/drummer I can be and with all my heart, I love them for there sincere assistance and the fact that they still consider me an equal.

There are some out there, that I have asked for help and because I opened up to them and talked about things I want to improve on, I am now a lesser musician in their eyes.  We are not longer equals and I should be glad I’m getting to share the stage with them.

I still love who I am, I love what I do, I can be me and I wish we all had a built in mechanism that caused us to be honest with the people around us and when people asked for help, instead of dropping down a rung on the ladder in our eyes, they actually  get extra points for allowing us inside the heart and soul.



Joe was born in New York State and moved to The Big Apple after graduating college with a music performance degree. During the early years of Joe’s career in NYC, he performed in various groups with some of the best jazz musicians in the world. He has performed with bassist Ben Wolfe, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, saxophonist Jerry Weldon, trumpeter Tom Harrell and pianist Joel Weiskopf to name a few. When not touring, Harry Connick Jr. and musicians from his band would sit in with Joe’s jazz quartet. In addition to Joe’s jazz chops, he is an accomplished rock, blues, funk and pop drummer who spent many years recording and touring the east coast music scene and regularly performed at national festivals. In 2004, Joe left NY for the southwest in search of warmer weather, new industry connections and more opportunities to tour and record. His pocket groove, stylistic approach and the depth & breadth of his musical knowledge, was greeted with open arms. Joe stays busy with a heavy regional live performance schedule, touring to other parts of the country, recording drum/percussion tracks for various artists and giving back through his clinics. In addition to his time spent behind the kit, Joe runs JC Productions, which books music for a variety of venues and bands. When in Arizona, Joe often performs with well-known organist Papa John DeFrancesco. Joe has also performed with Joey DeFrancesco, Johnny DeFrancesco and Francine Reed.

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