Joe LaBarbera
LaBarbera performs at the International Jazz Festival of Punta del Este in 2015.
Background information
Birth nameJoseph James LaBarbera
Born (1948-02-22) February 22, 1948 (age 73)
Mount Morris, New York, U.S.
Years active1970–present

Joseph James LaBarbera (born February 22, 1948) is an American jazz drummer and composer. He is best known for his recordings and live performances with the trio of pianist Bill Evans in the final years of Evans's career.[1] His older brothers are saxophonist Pat LaBarbera and trumpeter John LaBarbera.[2]


He grew up in Mount Morris, New York. His first drum teacher was his father. For two years in the late 1960s he attended Berklee College of Music, then went on tour with singer Frankie Randall.[3] After Berklee he spent two years with the US Army band at Fort Dix, New Jersey. He began his professional career playing with Woody Herman and the Thundering Herd.[4][2]

His reputation grew in the 1970s when he spent four years recording and touring with Chuck Mangione. He also worked as a sideman for Bob Brookmeyer, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, Art Pepper, John Scofield, Toots Thielemans, and Phil Woods.[3][4] In 1979 he was a member of the Bill Evans trio, then spent much of the 1980s and early 1990s with Tony Bennett.[3][2] He was in a quartet with his brother Pat and in a trio with Hein van de Geyn and John Abercrombie. He has taught at the California Institute of the Arts and the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop.[3]


LaBarbera in 1978
LaBarbera in 1978

As leader

As sideman

With Tony Bennett

With Rosemary Clooney

With Bill Cunliffe

With Bill Evans

With John LaBarbera

With Pat LaBarbera

With Chuck Mangione

With Bud Shank

With Kim Richmond

With Terry Trotter and Trotter Trio

With others


  1. ^ Ramsay, Doug (2010-04-12). "The Melodic Joe LaBarbera". All About Jazz. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
  2. ^ a b c Yanow, Scott. "Joe La Barbera". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Rye, Howard (2002). Kernfeld, Barry (ed.). The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. 2 (2nd ed.). New York: Grove's Dictionaries. p. 530. ISBN 1-56159-284-6.
  4. ^ a b Jung, Fred (2004-04-08). "A Fireside Chat with Joe La Barbera". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
  5. ^ "Joe La Barbera | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Joe La Barbera | Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 January 2019.