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Joel Pierson is a composer and jazz pianist whose work straddles the worlds of jazz, pop, and contemporary classical music. He frequently uses humor as a means to engage audiences with new music. 


Joel is the Artistic Director of The Queen’s Cartoonists, a musical ensemble dedicated to the preservation and performance of music from classic and contemporary cartoons. Joel’s work with TQC is at the cross-roads of the Golden Age of Jazz and the Golden Age of Animation, performing faithfully reproduced film scores while synchronized to the original films. Joel composes music for contemporary cartoons as well, working with living animators around the world. Concert highlights include shows at The Blue Note Jazz Club,  Konzerthaus Berlin, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


In addition to his work with The Queen’s Cartoonists, Joel has collaborated with artists as diverse as the New York Philharmonic, the Kronos Quartet, the Philly Pops, the Cleveland Orchestra, Linkin Park, Ke$ha, Wayne Newton, and the Houston, Toronto, Detroit, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Cincinnati Symphony orchestras.


Joel is also the founder of Sadsap Music, a humorous music publishing company. His first book, You Suck at Piano, was a viral hit 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 splits his time between Jackson Heights, Queens, NY, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He received a Bachelor of Arts 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 managed by Theresa Vibberts and CAMI Music. Joel plays Yamaha instruments exclusively. 


Posing with the Kronos Quartet.

Joel at piano.jpg

Headlining a sold out show at the Blue Note.

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

Gigging with Wayne Newton.

Performing wtih The Rosewood Fall.


Before a sold out six show run at Konzerthaus Berlin.

Backing up Ke$ha.

With the comedy group The World Peace Leaders.

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