Coming from the Northern Ontario town of Timmins, Joe Sulllivan began his musical training on piano and later, at the age of fifteen, started playing the trumpet. In 1981 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa, where he studied classical trumpet. His interest in jazz led him to continue his education, first at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, then at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he received a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies. Since that time, he has been active as a performer, composer and arranger. He is also had a long and successful career as a teacher at Concordia University, Vanier College and McGill University, where he currently teaches big band arranging, jazz composition and trumpet.
Since its debut performance about ten years ago, Sullivan’s big band has been his main creative outlet. During that time, the ensemble has been very active in Montreal and has featured as guests some of Canada’s finest jazz soloists. The band has released two CDs, “Joe Sullivan Big Band” (Effendi 2005) and “Stop And Listen” (Effendi 2007).
He is also the leader and composer for his own sextet, which has released two critically acclaimed CDs of his compositions, “A Song For Jersey” and “Rumours From The Soul”.