JazzFest History

Joe Hunter

Awarded: 2019
Born: Cleveland Heights, Ohio

"I am very, very fortunate to have been able to maintain a life in music."

- Joe Hunter

Growing up in a musical household, Cleveland Heights native Joe Hunter began playing piano when he was just eight years old. His parents would take him to venerable Cleveland jazz venues to experience performances by some of the top musicians of the day.

Hunter expanded his musical skills in jazz ensemble and orchestra at Heights High. At Cleveland State University, he studied classical music and as a student in Rio de Janeiro, his passion for Brazilian music was ignited.

He has been recognized for his love of the American songbook and its relationship to the spirit of jazz.

Hunter has been playing music full time, as a solo artist and with various bands since the late 1980s and in 1997 started teaching jazz piano at Cuyahoga Community College, a faculty position he holds today.

Joe Hunter - The Great American Songbook
Joe Hunter - Playing Live