Joseph Block is a jazz pianist, composer, and arranger from Philadelphia, PA.

He currently lives and studies in New York City at Columbia University and the Juilliard School. He began playing piano at the age of 3, initially studying classical piano with Susan Starr and Harvey Wedeen before switching to jazz in middle school. He grew up participating in Philadelphia’s wonderful jazz education programs, specifically at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz, the Kimmel Center Creative Music Program, and Temple University. Since then, he has become an active leader in the Philadelphia jazz scene and regularly performs at many venues, including the Kimmel Center, the Clef Club, South Jazz Parlor, Chris’ Jazz Café, @exuberance, and the Mann Music Center. Joe has also performed in New York City at Dizzy’s Club-Cola, the Bar Next Door, Birdland, and Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as at festivals such as the Montclair Jazz Festival, Wawa Welcomes America Festival, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, and the Telluride Jazz Festival. He has worked with a list of many esteemed musicians which include Wynton Marsalis, Tim Warfield, Byron Landham, and Terell Stafford. Joe was the 2017 YoungArts Jazz Piano National Finalist, attended the Telluride Jazz All-Stars workshop in 2018, and is a two-time alum of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Summer Jazz Academy . He is also the co-founder and leader of the Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band. Joseph currently studies jazz piano with Frank Kimbrough at Juilliard and plans to major in American Studies at Columbia.

Hailed one of “jazz’s most promising young composers” by Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe is a skilled composer and arranger in both the jazz and classical genres.

He won the 2016 J. Douglas White Essentially Ellington Composition Competition from Jazz at Lincoln Center and received an Honorable Mention recognition for Jazz Composition from the National Youngarts Foundation in 2017.  He has written and arranged for various professional jazz ensembles including the Wynton Marsalis Septet, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, the Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band, and Terrell Stafford’s Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, for which he was commissioned to arrange a movement of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” for jazz orchestra in 2018. He has also composed original scores to live productions of the plays “Don Carlos” and “Arcadia”, and served as the head arranger for several of Harvard University’s musical theatre shows. He has previously studied classical composition with Dr. Andrew Westerhaus.

Joe teaches lessons in piano as well as arranging, in person or via Skype. If interested, please contact him through this page.


2/8/19, 8:00 and 10:00pm

Chris’ Jazz Cafe

1421 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Joseph Block Quintet

Featuring Noah Halpern, Abdias Armenteros, Nathan Pence, and Khary Abdul-Shaheed


Past Performances


4/17 – Shrine World Music Venue – Jacob Melsha Quintet

4/21 – Columbia-Juilliard Exchange Recital – Duo with Joe Bell

4/29 – Triumph Brewing Company – Duo with Liam Sutcliffe

5/7 – Silvana – Jacob Melsha Quintet 

5/10 – Bar Next Door at La Lanterna Di Vittorio – Trio with Adam Olszewski + Christian McGhee

5/11 – St. Ann’s School – Zaq Davis Senior Recital

5/17 – Sassafras – Duo with Dylan Band

5/18 – Chris’ Jazz Cafe – Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band

5/20 – Clark Park – Shyam Natarajan Sextet

5/25 – @exuberance – Joseph Block Quartet

5/28 – Del Frisco’s Steakhouse – Ben Turner Group

5/30 – Vintage Bar and Grill – Michelle Lordi and Richard Hill

6/1 – Mt. Zion Church in Devon, PA – Cedric Napoleon Trio

6/3 – Act II Playhouse – Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band

6/8 – Kimmel Center – Arranger for Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia’s performance of Holst’s “The Planets” (movement: Venus)

6/10 – Kelsey’s – Tony Day Trio

6/14 – Messiah College – Guest Speaker at Central PA Jazz Camp 

6/14 – Sassafras – Duo with Ben Turner

6/19 – La Cour – Liam Broderick Quintet

6/22 – Spangalang Brewery – Rico Jones Quartet

6/24 – Birdland – DW Jazz Orchestra with Benny Benack III

7/6 – Cedar Park – Nazir Ebo Quartet

7/7 – Hewn Spirits – Dylan Band and Dylan Reis

7/8 – Paris Bistro – Joseph Block Trio

7/12 – Spectrum – James Haddad Quintet

7/13 – Cedar Park – Dylan Band, Rani Barlas, and Nazir Ebo

7/15 – Maxwell on Main’s – Lucas Ebeling Trio

7/25 – Chris’ Jazz Café – Brian Morris Quintet

7/27 – Chris’ Jazz Café – Joseph Block Sextet Plays Monk

7/29 – Hatboro Baptist Church – Joseph Block and Friends (Quartet)

8/4 – Telluride Jazz Festival – 2018 Telluride Jazz All-Stars

8/8 – Dazzle – Liam Broderick Quintet

8/10 – Bookstore Speakeasy – Ben Turner Group

8/11 – Manoff Market Gardens (2018 Peach Festival) – Lucas Ebeling Trio

8/12 – May The Jazz Never Stop Café – Brian Morris Quartet

8/17 – Chris’ Jazz Café – Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band

8/20 – 1867 Sanctuary – Alex Laurenzi Quartet

8/24 – Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz – Band, Halpern, Block, Hill, and Landham

8/27 – Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola – DW Jazz Orchestra with Benny Benack III

8/29 – Vintage Bar and Grill – Michelle Lordi, Mike Boone, and Sonny Troy

8/30 – Malcom X Park – Dylan Band, Nathan Pence, and Nazir Ebo

9/20 – Spectrum – Joe Block/Dylan Band Duo

9/30 – Jazz Exchange Secret Show @ Tazso Espresso Bar – Austin Zhang Quintet

10/13 – South Jazz Parlor – Emily Braden

10/15 – Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola – Juilliard Jazz Max Roach Ensemble with special guest Brianna Thomas

10/25-27 – Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose Hall – Guest arranger of “Ruby, My Dear” for JALC plays Monk concert

11/2 – GMHC – Solo piano

11/4 – Grace Lutheran Church – Vocalists Michelle Lordi and Shakera Jones

11/21 – Eddie V’s Prime Seafood (King of Prussia) – Michelle Lordi Quartet

12/4 – Juilliard School, Paul Hall – Juilliard Jazz Max Roach Ensemble featuring special guest Carla Cook

12/13 – Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola – Riley Mulhakar’s Red Hot Holiday (Riley Mulhakar)

12/18 – 2018 Brooks Brothers Holiday Celebration – Wynton Marsalis and Friends (musical director and pianist)

12/21 – Chris’ Jazz Café – Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band

12/22-23 – Philadelphia City Hall Courtyard – Emmanuel Ohemeng III and Perpetual Motion

12/23 – Hatboro Baptist Church – Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band with pianist Mark Livshits

12/26 – Vintage Bar and Grill – Michelle Lordi, Dylan Taylor, Sonny Troy 

12/31 – Eddie V’s Prime Seafood – Michelle Lordi, Matthew Parish, Doug Hirlinger


1/2 – Heritage – Jake Kelberman Quartet

1/9 – Vintage Bar and Grill – Larry McKenna and Nathan Pence

1/11 – Eddie V’s Prime Seafood – Michelle Lordi, Matthew Parish, Byron Landham

1/14 – HUC-JIR Soup Kitchen – Solo piano

1/17 – Shanghai Jazz – Shaan Pandiri Quintet

1/21 – Boudoir – James Haddad Quartet

1/25 – Lambs Club – Emily Braden 

2/5 – Chris’ Jazz Café – Andrew Carson Trumpet Sextet

2/8 – Chris’ Jazz Café – Joseph Block Quintet



Pianist Joseph Block Live In the WRTI Performance Studio

Today in the WRTI Performance Studio we are joined by 19 year old pianist and Philadelphia native Joseph Block. Joseph co-founded and leads the Philadelphia Ambassador Big Band and was the 2016 winner of the Essentially Ellington composition contest at Lincoln Center.

Posted by WRTI on Friday, 25 May 2018

Charts & Scores

Please contact me below for information on my original arrangements and compositions. Big band and small combo available!


To contact Joe, fill in the form below: