Joe Barbato, piano
Joe “Sonny” Barbato is is one of Boston’s finest musicians — a pioneering voice in jazz accordion and an accomplished jazz pianist.
Born and raised in Boston, MA, Joe started on the accordion at an early age, then chose to focus on piano in his teens. He studied with jazz pianist Mike Marra and later attended Berklee College of Music, as well as the New England Conservatory.When Joe decided to become serious about playing the accordion again, he broadened his range of experience playing the instrument in pop, rock, [and] country, as well as jazz — making him a sought-after, diverse accordionist with a sound of his own.
Joe has toured Europe and the United States, and works as a musician and teacher in New York City, as well as Boston. He has performed at festivals and concerts with Ravi Coltrane, Eddie Harris, Stanley Turrentine, Donald Harrison, Joe Locke, Jerry Bergonzi, Jeff “Tain” Watts, David Sanchez, and Larry Coryell. Joe has played accordion on over 30 recordings that range in style from country to jazz. Some of the artists he has recorded alongside with are Luciana Souza, Lori Mckenna, Kenny Barron, Duke Levine, George Schuller, David Budway, Bobby Previt, Jenifer Jackson, Ben Sher, Marvin Sewell, and many more.
In 2006, after his extensive work as a sideman, Joe decided that it was time to take a leadership role, in a way that reflects his belief that music is about the entire group. The result — “Crackerjack” (Cool Sun Records, 2006) — is a team effort. Also featured on “Crackerjack” is Joe’s long time friend pianist Dave Budway and Jimmy Ponder on guitar. Budway and Barbato penned seven of the eight songs on “Crackerjack.” There are no edits or fixes. It is all an exact representation of the actual moment that it was recorded which accounts for “Crackerjacks” fresh and exciting feel.
An increasingly significant performer in the musical community, Joe “Sonny” Barbato is here to bring his piano, his accordion, and his unique sound to the forefront of the jazz world.