A native New Yorker, multifaceted guitarist and composer Joe Ravo has performed with jazz greats Dave Brubeck, Stanley Turrentine, and Gerry Mulligan and traveled around the world as a cultural ambassador for the US Department of State. For many years he worked in the orchestras of various hit Broadway shows including, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Secret Garden, City of Angels, and Dancin’.
Recently, as the guitarist of Johnny Rodgers Band (JRB), Joe has toured around the globe as a cultural ambassador for the United States. In 2010, as part of the US Department of State-Jazz at Lincoln Center Rhythm Road American Music Abroad cultural diplomacy initiative, JRB traveled to Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Cambodia. In 2011, on the heels of the Arab Spring, along with JRB, Joe toured Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Djibouti, and Bahrain as part of the Musical Overtures Program, a unique cultural diplomacy mission administered by the US Department of State’s Office of Cultural Programs that promotes mutual understanding and strengthens America’s ties with nations involved in, or recovering from conflict.
In 2012, Johnny Rodgers Band returned to Malyasia to headline the Kota Kinabalu Jazz Festival, and in 2013 the band toured Russia, which included a concert-collaboration with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, Joe performed with JRB as the headlining act of the Miri Country Music Festival in Miri, Borneo, Malaysia.
Joe has recorded alongside Liza Minelli, Randy Brecker, Anne Hampton Callaway, Michael Feinstein, and Tom Harrell, as well as with the Johnny Rodgers Band (Box of Photographs – PS Classics, Richard Barrone, producer; Bound Together – Melody Thread; Legends of American Music, Volume One), Lee Lessack (In Good Company – LML Music), and Brain Lane Green (Waiting for the Glaciers to Melt – LML Music). He also appears on the PS Classics releases Maury Yeston Songbook and Jule Styne in Hollywood.
In addition to earning a degree in electrical engineering from New York University, Joe studied guitar with Alexander Bellow and participated in the Master Class of Oscar Gighlia at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy. He studied composition with Rudolph Schramm.
When MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) was introduced, Joe exploited his engineering background to develop software for Korg USA as a contract programmer. He has served as director of technology for Mannes College the New School for Music for over decade.
Joe has served on the guitar faculties of Columbia University and New York University. He is currently on the faculties of the Preparatory and Extension Divisions of Mannes College the New School for Music. In addition to lending his artistry to commercial jingles and film scores, Joe also performs with Villa Palagonia with Allison Scola, Dodo Orchestra, and in his instrumental guitar trio BeBimBop with Danny Mallon and Brian Glassman.