Born and raised in Southern California, Joe started playing by ear on a toy xylophone at an early age. His parents quickly got him a piano teacher, and Joe took piano lessons for a few years after that. He discovered jazz while in college and immediately changed his major from computer science to music. Upon hearing that jazz pianist Kenny Barron was teaching at Rutgers University in New Jersey, Joe enrolled in the graduate program there and obtained his Masters degree, studying with Barron for two years. After a couple years in the Army as a Russian linguist stationed in Germany, Joe moved back to the states to California, where he has been a fixture on the Los Angeles jazz scene. In 1997, Joe started playing the Hammond B-3 organ, earning several appearances in Downbeat magazine's Critic's and Reader's Polls. Recently, he was featured performing in the Clint Eastwood movie J. Edgar.
Since arriving in L.A., Joe has played/recorded with most of the jazz musicians in Southern California, as well as a number of visiting musicians including: Bobby Hutcherson, Madeleine Peyroux, Larry Goldings, Charles McPherson, Anthony Wilson, Seamus Blake, Billy Higgins, Bill Holman, Arthur Blythe, Plas Johnson, Jack Sheldon, Bud Shank, Larry Coryell, Pete Christlieb, Bob Dorough, Eric Alexander, Jim Rotondi and many more. Bagg has appeared in the Downbeat Critic’s & Reader's Poll in the Organ category a numer of times, and he’s also played extensively overseas (Japan, Germany, France, Greece, Turkey, Dubai, Kuwait) and the States (Yoshi's (Oakland), Birdland, Iridium, (New York), Jazz Alley & The Moore Theater (Seattle), The Aladdin Theater (Portland), Richard's (Vancouver), Arturo’s (Detroit), Artist’s Corner (St. Paul), Anthology (San Diego) & virtually every jazz venue in Los Angeles). He currently teaches at Fullerton College, Citrus College, Musician's Institute & Azusa Pacific University, while maintaining a busy gigging and recording schedule.
“A masterful organist”- Don Heckman - L. A. Times
“A highly refined player with a light touch who listens” – Downbeat
“An inventive pianist” – San Francisco Chronicle
Joe Bagg is an in-demand pianist and B3 player in Los Angeles who's performed with Bobby Hutcherson, Larry Coryell, Madeleine Peyroux, Anthony Wilson, Pete Christlieb and Jack Sheldon among others. His newest recording The Joe Bagg Organ Trio comes out on Jazz Collective Records this fall, and he co-leads another organ group Option 3 (http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/option3). He teaches at Musician's Institute in Hollywood, Citrus College and Fullerton College. Learn more at www.joebagg.com.