An Up-And-Coming Drummer With A Creative Mind

"My work is a reflection of my life, which has operated on a spectrum between radical self-expression and dedicated self-discipline. I've found myself bound since childhood with a profound passion for learning...but my teachers knew I was often as stubborn as I was precocious, and very resistant to authority. I wanted to go out and forge my own path rather than simply accept what was put in front of me."

Joey has performed or is currently performing with the following acts:

Vexed Perspective

Catie Rodgers And Her Jazz Orchestra

GPS Brazilian Jazz Group

Outer Core

Terra Terra

Steve Detroy

Victor Atkins

Mahmoud Chouki


Djakpa Ewe Ensemble

Up Up We Go

Daphne Lee Martin

Dash Rip Rock

    Joey van Leeuwen was born and raised in Rochester, NY where he drummed on pots and pans as a baby. He got his start as a percussionist in fourth grade band and chorus, and started playing in bands at 16. He performed in many ensembles at Churchville-Chili High School and received the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. Growing up he was inspired by tons of different music from around the world, especially John Coltrane, Alla Rakha, and Jimi Hendrix. He took lessons at Eastman his senior year of high school and performed at the Xerox-Rochester International Jazz Festival and in the Monroe All-County Jazz Choir band.

    He attended Shenandoah Conservatory starting 2012 and studied jazz and arranging under Craig Fraedrich and Alan Baylock before moving to New Orleans in 2014. In New Orleans, he has studied drumming with Johnny Vidacovich, Stanton Moore, Jason Marsalis and Ricky Sebastian as well as composition with Yotam Haber. Before graduating in 2018 from UNO, he received the Ernest and Shirley Svensen Award for Jazz Composition, the George Brumat Memorial Scholarship, the Nate and Priscilla Gordon Scholarship in Jazz Studies, and the Gregory Federico Outstanding Senior Award.

Since moving to New Orleans, he has been on several albums with local New Orleans artists and played about 300-400 shows, including NO Jazz Fest and French Quarter Fest, as well as performing at UNO with Ellis Marsalis, Donald Harrison, Ingrid Jensen, Terence Blanchard, Aaron Goldberg, Herlin Riley and Jamison Ross among others.

Now located in Boston, Joey is a graduate student at New England Conservatory where he is pursuing a M.M. in Contemporary Improvisation.

Created in 2015 by Joey van Leeuwen.