joe policastro trio joe policastro trio
joe policastro trio

RECORDINGS


Joe Policastro Trio

Nothing Here Belongs (2019 JeruJazz Records)

1. I'm On Fire
2. Speak Slow(ly)
3. Bloodshot
4. In The Quiet
5. The Wandering Sea
6. Oceans of Notions
7. No Idea
8. plain song
9. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)

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Speak Slow(ly)

Bloodshot

No Idea

Joe Policastro, bass, Dave Miller, guitar, Mikel Avery, drums

Hailed by Downbeat for its “deft analysis of choice repertoire,” and by The Chicago Reader for its “diversity of approaches to all kinds of source material,” the Joe Policastro Trio returns with its fourth album, Nothing Here Belongs. While previous albums highlighted the band's ability to remake unlikely songs in its own raw, highly idiosyncratic fashion. Nothing Here Belongs, by contrast, for the first time showcases the trio’s captivating body of original music, while also including characteristically bold arrangements of songs by Bruce Springsteen, The Talking Heads and Santo & Johnny.

Joe Policastro Trio

Screen Sounds (2017 JeruJazz Records)

1. Yojimbo (Main Title)
2. Everybody's Talkin' - Midnight Cowboy
3. Nadia's Theme (Theme from "The Young and the Restless")
4. Cool Hand Luke (Main Title)
5. Summer Kisses, Winter Tears
6. Twin Peaks Theme
7. Angela (Theme from "Taxi")
8. Hallelujah
9. The Godfather (Main Title and Love Theme)
10. Blade Runner (Love Theme)
11. Having An Average Weekend (Theme from "Kids In The Hall")

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Yojimbo (Main Title)

Twin Peaks Theme

The Godfather (Main Title and Love Theme)

Joe Policastro, bass, Dave Miller, guitar, Mikel Avery, drums

The third album by the Joe Policastro Trio features the singular approach of the Chicago-based jazz trio on a unique assemblage of music from movies and TV. Both a musical tapestry and personal soundtrack, the trio has re-purposed these selections blending each member's unique voice into a unified sound while shedding new light on these musical touchstones.

Joe Policastro Trio

Pops! (2016 JeruJazz Records)

1. Wives and Lovers
2. Harvest Moon
3. Creepin'
4. Wave of Mutilation
5. More Than a Woman
6. Condition of the Heart
7. Diamonds and Pearls
8. Me and Mrs. Jones
9. Us and Them
10. Take It with Me
11. Drive

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Wives And Lovers

Harvest Moon

Diamonds and Pearls

Joe Policastro, bass, Dave Miller, guitar, Mikel Avery, drums

with special guests: Andy Brown, guitar, Andy Pratt, guitar

The sophomore release of the Joe Policastro Trio celebrates Pops For Champagne, the venue that gave birth to the group, and highlights the "pop" music that has a become signature part of their sound.

Featuring music by Prince, Tom Waits, Stevie Wonder, The Pixies, and others

Joe Policastro Trio

West Side Story Suite (2013 JeruJazz Records)

1. Prologue
2. Something's Coming
3. Maria
4. Jet Song
5. America
6. One Hand, One Heart
7. Cool
8. Tonight
9. Gee, Officer Krupke
10. I Feel Pretty
11. Somewhere

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Maria

Jet Song

America

Joe Policastro, bass, Dan Effland, guitar, Adam Sorensen, drums

The debut release of the Joe Policastro Trio is a fresh, original take on the Bernstein classic. An arranged suite for guitar trio, the album highlights the interplay of the ensemble while still leaving plenty of space for improvisation.

VIDEOS


Joe Policastro Trio

No Idea

Joe Policastro Trio

I'm On Fire

Take On Me (a-Ha)

Music Video

Yojimbo (main title)

Music Video

Joe Policastro Trio

"Having an Average Weekend (Theme from The Kids in the Hall)"

Joe Policastro Trio

Screen Sounds EPK

America

CD release party for "POPS!"

Harvest Moon

CD release party for "POPS!"

Creepin'

CD release party for "POPS!"

1999

CD release party for "POPS!"

About The Trio


Joe Policastro

Bass

www.joepolicastro.com

Dave Miller

Guitar

www.davemillerguitar.com

Mikel Avery

Drums

Facebook

Joe Policastro Trio

Hailed by Downbeat for its “deft analysis of choice repertoire,” and by the Chicago Reader for its “diversity of approaches to all kinds of source material,” the JOE POLICASTRO TRIO is Chicago-based alternative jazz trio led by bassist Joe Policastro features guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery. While firmly rooted in jazz, the band’s open-minded, inclusive nature draws upon a wide array of musical styles and sources while still keeping the aesthetic of an acoustic trio intact.

Nothing Here Belongs (JeruJazz Records - February 8, 2019) marks the fourth release by the band. The new release follows in the wake of West Side Story Suite (2013), POPS! (2016), and Screen Sounds (2017), all of which highlighted the trio’s ability to remake unlikely songs in its own raw, highly idiosyncratic fashion. Nothing Here Belongs, by contrast, for the first time showcases the trio’s captivating body of original music, while also including characteristically bold arrangements of songs by Bruce Springsteen, Talking Heads, and Santo & Johnny.

True bands are a rarity in jazz these days, especially ones who hone their craft as consistently as this one does. In addition to their long-running thrice weekly residency at Pops For Champagne in the Chicago, the band has been extensively playing together throughout the US and Canada having even performed for President Barack Obama.

As sidemen, Joe Policastro (Jeff Hamilton, Pat and Debby Boone, Phil Woods, Diane Schuur), Dave Miller (Clarice Assad, Patricia Barber, Algernon), and Mikel Avery (Joshua Abrams, Theaster Gates, Rob Mazurek) have shared the stage with a wide array of musicians but dedicate collectively to this trio. Whether highlighting the original music of its members, re-contextualizing modern music, or performing jazz classics of the likes of Thelonious Monk, Chico Hamilton, or Charles Lloyd, the trio readily displays its singular approach, sound, texture, and simultaneity.

"The trio have refined their layered blend of the familiar and faintly far out, playing three nights a week at Chicago’s Pops For Champagne and through extensive roadwork. Their deep understanding of each other and deft analysis of choice repertoire repays repeat and close listening."
  - Michael Jackson, Downbeat

Known for its eclectic taste and approach, the Joe Policastro Trio "makes the case that such musical hybridity is worth celebrating." "Policastro…is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity."
  - Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat

"There are always new wrinkles to be found in the familiar. That's a political stance that seems to serve the Joe Policastro Trio well…putting alternately gritty and focused touches on songs we've come to love….Policastro and company have found their niche tapping into different breeds of treasured songs."
  - Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

The Joe Policastro Trio is a band that can turn "pop tart into Jazz art" (Travis Rogers, Jazz Owl) and one that "should have wide appeal among both jazz fans and listeners of other genres." (Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine)

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Shows


Chicagoland Shows

Joe Policastro/Dave Miller Duo
Every Sunday
9 PM - midnight
Pops For Champagne, Chicago, IL
No cover, no minimum

Joe Policastro Trio + Howard Levy
Friday, January 17
9:30 PM - 1 AM
Andy's Jazz Club, Chicago, IL
$15 at the door

Joe Policastro Trio + Howard Levy
Saturday, January 18
9:30 PM - 1 AM
Andy's Jazz Club, Chicago, IL
$15 at the door

Joe Policastro Trio
Tuesday, January 21
9 PM
Relax Attack Jazz Series
The Whistler, Chicago, IL
No cover

Joe Policastro Trio
Wednesday, February 8
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Odyssey Arts Festival
Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL

Joe Policastro Trio
Thursday, February 13
8 PM
Montrose Saloon, Chicago, IL
No cover

Joe Policastro/Dave Miller Duo
Thursday, March 5
8 PM
Friendly Tap, Berwyn, IL
No cover

 

Tour Dates

2020 "Nothing Here Belongs" Tour Dates

Wednesday, January 22: Blockhouse (Bloomington, IN) w/ Greg Ward
Thursday, January 23: The Empty Glass (Charleston, WV)
Friday, January 24: LIVE on WTJU's Offbeat Roadhouse 8 PM (Charlottesville, VA)
Friday, January 24: Fellini's 10 PM (Charlottesville, VA)
Saturday, January 25: The Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC)
Sunday, January 26: The Velvet Note (Atlanta, GA)
Monday, January 27: Springwater Supper Club & Lounge (Nashville, TN) w/ JayVe Montgonery and Lindon McCartry Trio
Tuesday, January 28: People's Brewery & Taproom (Lafayette, IN)

Spring/summer dates coming soon!

 

Press


Press Kit

High Resolution Photos
(click images to download)

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“…the three musicians play off each others’ twists and turns with a near telepathic rapport.” All About Jazz - Jerome Wilson, June 26, 2019

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“Unpredictable and sometimes eccentric…each listen to Nothing Here Belongs reveals more surprises.” JAZZIZ - Scott Yanow, May 31, 2019

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“…a cohesive unit with an extraordinarily flexible mindset…at every step of the way, this band breathes and bends as one.” All About Jazz - Dan Bilawsky, May 8, 2019

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“…Policastro shows off a melodic compositional voice…everything here belongs.” Erie Times - John Chacona, May 2, 2019

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“The Trio is clearly flexing its creative muscle, and the result sparkles…Long story short, Nothing Here Belongs belongs in your library.” Newcity - Robert Rodi, April 12, 2019

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“…inscrutable chops and telepathic chemistry…” CityBeat - Mike Breen, April 8, 2019

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“A rich and clever take of covers and hip mix of originals. Worth seeing in concert!” Jazz Weekly - George W. Harris, March 28, 2019

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“…a highly enjoyable and completely absorbing work of the highest quality…” Sea of Tranquility - Jon Neudorf, March 25, 2019

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At once raw and supple, this music does not bother with false pretenses. It goes straight to its fixed goal with a capacity to let go that is only allowed thanks to the great cohesion between the three musicians... Yves Dorrison, Culture Oui (France), February 2019

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Nothing Here Belongs is enjoyable from start-to-finish and I recommend you listen several times to understand just how good this music and the JPTrio is. Richard Kamins, Step Tempest, February 8, 2019

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Nothing Here Belongs is an engaging and enjoyable work that highlights Policastro’s evolution in a fresh direction…a testament of the trio’s ability to tackle any material with the same high caliber musicianship, regardless of the source. Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine, February, 5 2019

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Modern and forward thinking…they have a vision that could be as earth shaking as Miles finding the funk. Chris Spector, Midwest Record, January 14, 2019

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Their deep understanding of each other and deft analysis of choice repertoire repays repeat and close listening." Michael Jackson, Downbeat April, 2018

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Joe's use of the bow on "The Godfather" adds further dimension to the set. 'Cool hand Luke', 'Angela" and 'Summer Kisses, Winter Tears' are among the best." 3/3 D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Magazine February, 2018

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3/3 "Bassist Joe Policastro assembles a trio featuring guitarist Dave Miller and Mikel Avery on drums. Their work, Screen Sounds is exactly that, themes from TV shows and movies. Joe's use of the bow on "The Godfather" adds further dimension to the set. "Cool hand Luke", "Angela" and "Summer Kisses, Winter Tears" are among the best. So get ready to reminisce!"

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There are always new wrinkles to be found in the familiar. That's a political stance that seems to serve the Joe Policastro Trio well…putting alternately gritty and focused touches on songs we've come to love….Policastro and company have found their niche tapping into different breeds of treasured songs. Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz, August 20, 2017

READ FULL REVIEW →

…their music is as good as any movie that holds viewers spellbound. Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives, August 17, 2017

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The group's terrific new album, Screen Sounds, applies a diversity of approaches to all kinds of source material, consistently retaining the essence of the original works while boldly imprinting the trio's personality. Peter Margasak, The Chicago Reader, August 17, 2017

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Bassist Joe Policastro uses his trio of guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery to give fresh approaches to movie and TV themes. George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly, July 27, 2017

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Take what is known and juice it up. Woodrow Wilkins, The Jazz Writer, July 17, 2017

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…recasting themes as platforms for wide-open, extended exploration, typically putting multiple faces on the same theme….contributes much to the success of these imaginative and frequently fun explorations. Duane Vehr, Jazz & Blues Report (July/August)

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Chicago bassist Joe Policastro and his trio are well known for their engaging, enjoyable performances. Their third release, Screen Sounds, is no different. Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine (July/August)

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On their third album, the mix of Policastro's bass and Miller's guitar works magic taking the album into a range of moods and sounds and Avery keeping pace with kinetic sounding musical ideas. MWE3.com, Summer 2017

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...a telepathic cue from Policastro to Tarantino that mates spaghetti-Western guitars to Japanese art. Eric Saeger, The Hippo, June 1, 2017

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Parading a load of TV and movie themes…Policastro and his bunch swing from the chandeliers and aren't afraid to push the envelope as far as it will go. Chris Spector, Midwest Record, May 5, 2017

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There are some truly outstanding gems in these heartfelt covers that go above and beyond the usual worship. Carol Banks Weber, AXS, August 17, 2016

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…pure joy to listen to... [they] always come up with interesting and rejuvenating twists and turns. Matthias Kirsch, Gina Loves Jazz, August 8, 2016

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[Policastro] provides a powerful, steady, foundation for the group. His arco work is beautifully 'in tune' when he gets the opportunity to state melodies or improvise solos - that's not an easy thing to achieve! Dave Brownlow, Bebop Spoken Here, July 13, 2016

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Relaxed playing by skilled instrumentalists who blend with seemingly effortless ease. Bruce Crowther, Jazz Mostly, July 10, 2016

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This suave and enjoyable album should have wide appeal among both jazz fans and listeners of other genres. Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine, July 8, 2016

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Pops is an album that demonstrates the depth of well chosen modern pop tunes that lend themselves well to jazz improvisation, in an acoustic straight ahead setting... Joe Policastro's trio is well honed from their long time live show, and since they thrive on pop tunes, it's a bright indication of the road ahead. CJ Shearn, Jazz Views, July 6, 2016

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Policastro and his crew make a strong argument for all of these songs as jazz vehicles, and they have a ton of fun in the process. You will, too. Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist, July 4, 2016

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'POPS!' is the Joe Policastro Trio's way of reminding us that not all Jazz comes from Jazz originals…There is emotional attachment to the originals and the trio makes them sing with a new voice and new meaning. The Jazz Owl by Travis Rogers, Jr., July 1, 2016

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Wonderfully cool renditions of compositions by Burt Bacharach, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Tom Waits and Pink Floyd… A very steady work of musicianship. The Jazz Page by D. Glenn Daniels, July 1, 2016

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Policastro…is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity. His solo on The Pixies' "Wave Of Mutilation" best exemplifies his improvisational style, which bears the mark of solid, unadorned craftsmanship. Brian Zimmerman, Downbeat, July 2016

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Before there was the Great American Songbook, there were simply great American songs. The tunes we now identify as jazz standards—so many of them composed by just a handful of scribes working from cramped offices on Tin Pan Alley—weren't written with that lofty songbook in mind, but were instead created as popular songs, fodder for Broadway productions and Hollywood films from the 1920s and '30s. Popular song continues to enrich the jazz canon, and on his latest disc, Pops, Chicago bassist Joe Policastro makes the case that such musical hybridity is worth celebrating. In doing so, Policastro and his trio with guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery join a growing assembly of artists who embrace pop experimentalism, including keyboardist Robert Glasper, whose 2015 album Covered (Blue Note) featured songs by Kendrick Lamar and John Legend, and vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, whose latest release, For One To Love (Mack Avenue), featured a dapper interpretation of Burt Bacharach's "Wives And Lovers." The Bacharach staple also makes an appearance on Policastro's album, opening the program of 11 tunes with all the spunk and steamy intimacy of a mid-century cocktail party. (This is fitting, as the song is the album's sole composition from the 1960s.) But it's the subsequent decade—with its overtones of disco and funk—that contributes the bulk of the material to this disc. The trio spins Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'," (1974) into a sweet and breezy jazz bossa, and later injects The Bee Gees' "More Than A Woman" (1977) with a shot of crisp, bracing energy, courtesy of guest guitarist Andy Brown's sweeping lines. Elsewhere, the group unwinds Billy Paul's "Me And Mrs. Jones" into a silken ballad and recasts Pink Floyd's "Us And Them" as a spacey jazz-rock investigation. Policastro, co-leader of the Gerry Mulligan tribute bands Jeru and the Mulligan Mosaic Big Band/Nonet, is a melody-minded bassist who prioritizes group cohesion over individual displays of virtuosity. His solo on The Pixies' "Wave Of Mutilation" best exemplifies his improvisational style, which bears the mark of solid, unadorned craftsmanship. The song, repainted with dark, nuanced colors, joins Prince's "Condition Of The Heart" (part of a touching two-track homage to the late guitar maestro) and The Cars' "Drive" as the album's representatives from the 1980s. More recent fare includes a calm, understated cover of Tom Waits' "Take It With Me" (1999) and a version of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" (1991) reconfigured as—what else—a Western swing tune.

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…engaging inventive music Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives, June 18, 2016

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Policastro's bass seems to be the glue that holds this trio solidly in place. Dee Dee McNeil, Musical Memoirs, June 25, 2016

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Pops!, by the Joe Policastro Trio, is not only a new CD, but also represents a possible new movement in jazz… Joe and his group … play everything with conviction and sincerity as they try to bring out new qualities in this collection of well-known pop and rock songs. John Sanders, Jazz Music Archives, June 15, 2016

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This is … one of those pop goes jazz sets that opens the ears nicely. Everyone on board is right on point letting the world know once again that Chicago jazz is alive and well. Chris Spector, Midwest Record, June 11, 2016

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Additional Reading

Debbie Burke, May 23, 2019

Jazz Bastard: Patrick Burnette and Mike, May 15, 2019

Jazziz “New Music Monday” February 25, 2019

No Treble "The Art of the Trio", February 7, 2019

Chicago Jazz Magazine "10 Questions with Joe Policastro", February 5, 2019

Straight No Chaser by Jeffrey Seigel, September 2, 2017

Bass Musician magazine by Raul Amador, July 10, 2017

El Intruso by Sergio Piccirelli, June 7, 2017

Michael Doherty's Music Log, December 12, 2016

CJ Shearn's Best of 2016 at Jazz Views, December 9, 2016

Jazzweekly by George Harris, September 20, 2016

All About Jazz by Mark Sullivan, July 25, 2016

Contact/Booking


Booking

Joe Policastro
(773) 503-2339
joepolicastrobass@yahoo.com

Animal Discourse - Andrew Chrisanthus
(513) 571-8781
andrew@animaldiscourse.com

Mailing List

Use the following form to join the mailing list:

Publicity

Two For The Show Media
Chris DiGirolamo
(631) 298-7823
chris@twofortheshowmedia.com

Tour Press

Novo Management and Publicity
August Forte
august@novo.net

Radio

Lisa Reedy Promotions
Lisa Reedy
(775) 826-0755
lisa8089@sbcglobal.net

Social Media