Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Hunt, Joe (Joseph Gayle)

Hunt, Joe (Joseph Gayle), drummer, educator; b. Richmond, IN, 31 July 1938.

There were three big influences for him in Richmond, IN. They include altoist John Pierce (George Russell's Stratus Seekers), the late bassist Andy Simpkins (Three Sounds), and drummer Harold Jones (Count Basie). He studied in Indianapolis with Willis Kirk (author of Brush Fire), and at Indiana U. with Richard Johnson. He played with David Baker's band (1956-1959) while attending Indiana University. He was a member of George Russell's sextet from 1960-62 (performer in residence at the Lenox School of Jazz 1960). He also played with John Handy's quartet from late 1960 into 1961.

He did Army service from 1962-64. He was with the Stan Getz quartet (1964-5), the Jim Hall trio (1965), the Gary Burton quartet (1966) and the Bill Evans trio (1966-67). He freelanced in NYC until 1971 and also attended Mannes College of Music there. He moved to Boston and joined the Berklee College faculty in 1971 and remained there as a Professor of Percussion Studies.

While in Boston, he led groups including John Scofield, Jimmy Mosher, Mick Goodrick, and Mike Stern. He also toured with the National Jazz Ensemble and Barry Harris, both groups led by bassist Chuck Israels. In the mid-90s his group included  Paul Fontaine and Ray Santisi. He was also a member of  the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra directed by Baker.

He married Ellen Barton Hunt in 1986. Ellen is a professional pipe organist from Newark, NJ. He has three children and four grandchildren from former marriages.

 Hunt retired from teaching at Berklee as of fall 2003 and has moved to Central PA. He keeps busy playing with pianists Steve Rudolph (Harrisburg), and Ron Thomas (Philly). He still gets to NYC from time to time and stays in touch with Boston friends.

George Russell: At the Five Spot (1960), Stratusphunk (1960), In Kansas City (1961), Ezzthetics (1961), The Stratus Seekers (1962); Don Friedman: A Day in the City (1961); Stan Getz: Getz Au Go Go (1964), Getz/Gilberto #2 (1964), Nobody Else But Me (1964), The Canadian Concert of Stan Getz (1965); Bill Evans: Secret Sessions at the Village Vanguard (1967); Amy Lee: Inside the Outside (1999)

J.H., 52nd Street Beat: In-Depth Profiles of Modern Jazz Drummers 1945-1965 (no date listed); includes bios on several little known drummers.

Contact information:
Joe Hunt
3 Tuscany Ct
Camp Hill, PA 17011

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