Joel Pierson is a composer and jazz pianist.


Joel's 2013 string quartet "Route 666" was premiered by the Kronos Quartet.  His piece "Tideland" was featured in the film "The Internship".  His piece "Afternoon on a Hill" won second place in the New York Philharmonic's 2017 New World Initiative Composition Competition.  Joel has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, NPR, Mashable, and McSweeney's.


 Joel has played with many of today’s leading jazz greats including Lenny Pickett, Chris Potter, &  John Scofield, as well as pop legends such as Tommy Tune, Frankie Avalon, Wayne Newton, and The Animals.  He has shared the stage with comtemporary pop artists like Ke$ha, Linkin Park, Father John Misty, & My Chemical Romance.  In 2017 Joel performed "Let It Be" for an audience of one: Paul McCartney.  Joel has traveled to over ninety countries on all seven continents for various gigs


As a songwriter, Joel was signed to Warner Brothers Records as a recording artist with the rock group The Rosewood Fall, with whom he toured, played festivals, TV shows, & major rock venues around the country.

Joel's arrangements have been performed all around the world, including performances by over 20 major orchestras including the Houston, Toronto, Detroit, Indianapolis, Calgary, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Buffalo, Orlando, Nashville Symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Philly Pops.


Joel is the Artistic Director for The Queen's Cartoonists - a jazz band dedicated to the preservation and performance of music from classic cartoons.  The Queen's Cartoonists have an active schedule at performing arts centers across the US, Canada, and Europe, and have opened for The New York Philharmonic. .

In 2017 Joel started Sadsap Music, a music publishing company. His first book, You Suck at Piano, raised over $80.,000 on Kickstarter. Follow up books include You Suck at Piano 2: You Still Suck, 20 Piano Pieces for People with Emotional Problems, You Suck at Guitar, and The Nutsmacker.


Joel currently splits his time between Queens, NY, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.  He  received a BA from Westmont College in classical piano performance,  a Master’s Degree in jazz piano performance from New York University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts  in music composition at the University of Maryland.

Joel is represented by CAMI Music in the U.S., KD Schmid in Germany, and Harmonic Artists in the U.K. He can be reached at: no.juan @


Posing with the Kronos Quartet.

Backing up Lenny Pickett  at The Blue Note.

Leading The Queen's Cartoonists.

With the comedy group The World Peace Leaders.

The Queen's Cartoonists opening up for the New York Philharmonic.

Gigging with Wayne Newton.

Performing wtih The Rosewood Fall.

At The Iridium.

Backing up Ke$ha.

Headlining a sold out show at the Blue Note.