Local Jazz Guitarist Debuts First CD

Written by Kate Hall on 31 August 2011

Joe Heider calls his debut CD "a good start." "That's why I call it 'Barely Out the Door," he said. "I hope people like it. I wrote it with different styles so everyone would get something out of it," he said. Heider composed seven instrumental numbers on the CD, out this month, that range in style from funk to avant garde to straight-ahead jazz. He is joined by Vince Tampio on trumpet, who plays three horns on the album, Ben Basile on electric bass and D'Jean Vascianne on drums. The men are his friends from SUNY New Paltz, where he spent the first two years of his college career studying jazz.

People can get a copy from his website: www.joeheider.com and on I-tunes. Heider's CD was recorded at Lunar Rabbit Studios on Main Street, Cortland, and was engineered by Matt Barnes. He follows the jazz tradition of setting out a composition and then giving over to improvisation by soloists before returning back to the original melody. Two songs are based on old jazz standards, "Tella by Starlight" and "I Got Rhythm," but are totally rewritten with different melodies, he said.

The McGraw High graduate is transferring this fall to SUNY Purchase to study jazz guitar. He is looking forward to studying under John Abercrombie. "He's a fantastic jazz guitarist, very well renowned," Heider said. The 20-year-old has been focused on playing guitar since was 13 years old. After taking lessons for a few years from Rick Hansen, he put in four hours of practice a day for a four-year-period. How he shoots for two hours a day. One of Heider's influences was Mike Stern, a guitarist who was in jazz legend Miles Davis' electric band in the '80s. He saw him at a guitar convention in Oswego.

"I was entranced for an hour and a half. It was an amazing, life-changing experience," he said. Then at New Paltz, he got into John Scofield's music and earned the nickname, Sco-Heider. "it's a jazz tradition imitate before you do your own original thing," he said. Heider has been teaching guitar this summer at the Center for the Arts at Homer and has about 18 students. He opened at the Corland Main Street Music series with the Lieberheider Group, for New York City trumpeter Ginetta's Vendetta. "Ever since I started recording this, I've been getting gigs I never before got," he said.

He's been playing in Manhattan and Brooklyn and has a residency to play at the Mohonk House REsort in the New Paltz area, where he'll play one or two times a month. At Purchase he wants to master his craft. "I think I am learning the business side on my own a little bit ... And I will be right near the city, I'll get to play in the city, where the networking and career building is at all these jazz clubs in the wee small hours of the morning." Heider will play six to eight performance a month while studying in school.

"I've got to make a living out of it some day." I have been teaching and finishing my CD and putting three to six hours a day writing emails, reaching out to people, booking shows. Possibly next summer, I will do a tour and do some festivals," he said.

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