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Born in Iowa, grown in Missouri, and sprouting throughout the Midwest, Joel Gordon is a cultivating saxophonist and music educator.  Most recently, Joel recorded and released a full-length album, “Along Those Lines,” with the Kansas City-based Matt Cook Collective in 2017.

As a saxophonist, Joel was selected as a resident of the 2014 David Liebman Saxophone Masterclass, named winner of the 2014 Missouri Music Teachers Association Woodwind Soloist Competition, and chosen as a semifinalist in the 2013 Naftzger Young Artist Competition.  In 2017, Gordon recorded and released an album with the Kansas City-based jazz quintet, the Matt Cook Collective.  The group went on a seven city Midwest release tour and is scheduled for a second tour on the West Coast in Summer 2018.  As well, Joel will be traveling to the East Coast in Spring 2018 to perform at the 40th International Saxophone Symposium with {tres}, a chamber ensemble devoted to bringing baroque and classical era compositions into the contemporary saxophone repertoire through recording and public recitals.  Joel can be heard playing jazz standards and original compositions throughout Missouri and Kansas as a leader of the groups Joel Gordon’s Happy Habitat and the Joel Gordon Trio.  Joel studied jazz improvisation with Tim AuBuchon and Matt Otto and classical saxophone with Randall Smith and José A. Zayas Cabán.  Additional instructors include Bob Long, Neil Ostercamp, and Tim Timmons.

Joel is passionate about advancing music through education.  In 2015, Joel was named a Presser Foundation Scholar and was a fellow in the TruScholars Research Symposium, exploring the development of jazz education in the midwest.  Joel coordinates school jazz clinics as Education Director of the Matt Cook Collective, having had performed for over 1500 midwest public school students.  As well, Joel continues to develop his teaching reference "The (Young) Adventure’s Guide to Jazz Improvisation."  Joel’s professional educational affiliations include the Jazz Education Network, Kappa Delta Pi, the Missouri State Teachers Association, the Missouri Music Educators Association, the Missouri Association for Jazz Education, the North American Saxophone Alliance, Phi Kappa Lambda, Phi Mu Alpha, and the National Association for Music Education.

Joel holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education (2015) and a Master of Arts in Education of Music (2016) from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri.  Currently, Joel is the Director of Bands at Platte City Middle School and coaches jazz combos at Platte County High School.  As well, Joel maintains an active private studio teaching jazz improvisation and classical saxophone.  Joel lives in Platte City, MO with his wonderful wife, Megan.