Artist's BiographyA seasoned performer and clinician in both jazz and classical styles, Dr. Joel Vanderheyden is a saxophonist, composer and educator from Minneapolis, MN. He is currently Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO. Vanderheyden has previously served as Director of Jazz at the University of Minnesota, Morris and at Oakton Community College in the Chicago area. His D.M.A. studies in classical saxophone with Kenneth Tse at The University of Iowa and M.M. studies in jazz with Chris Vadala at The University of Maryland have contributed to his well-rounded approach to the saxophone and musical expression.
Vanderheyden has performed at jazz festivals in Switzerland, France, and notable stateside venues including Carnegie Hall, Blues Alley, The Dakota, The Artists Quarter, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and The Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. In 2000, he performed with Clarence Gatemouth Brown at the Montreux Jazz Festival, opening for B.B. King, and has since shared the stage with many notable national and local jazz luminaries. An active supporter of new music for classical saxophone, he has also commissioned new works from composer Aaron Perrine, including Flow (2009), a sonata for saxophone and piano, and Bridge Suite (2010) for saxophone and cello.
Joel Vanderheydens debut album, Complete Life, was named one of the Top Jazz Albums of 2009 by KCCK 88.3FM and was featured as their CD of the Month in August 2009. He is also a founding member of the forward-thinking ensemble, Koplant No. They were recently featured on Iowa Public Radio, and were the recipients of a grant from the Iowa Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts. Joel is also a member of the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra and the Missouri Sax Quartet, and endorses Selmer saxophones and Rico reeds.