About Joseph Lepore
Bassist Joseph Lepore was born in New York and raised in Salerno, Italy when his parents moved the family back to their home country. Classically trained Lepore graduated from the Conservatory in Salerno with high honors and not too long after, left his hometown for Rome, where he joined a teaming musical scene and thriving jazz community.
Soon he began playing with some of Italy’s more prominent members and visiting US jazz musicians, including Bob Dorough, Antonio Farao', Roberto Gatto, Joy Garrison, George Garzone, Steve Grossman, Tom Kirkpatrick, David Liebman, Mike Maineri, Bob Mover, Romano Mussolini, Jimmy Owens, Enrico Pieranunzi, Tony Scott, Gary Smulian, Elliot Zigmund, and others.
Among other activities, Lepore worked on Italian television shows and taught jazz bass performance and theory in music schools both in Salerno and Rome, with the same energy and enthusiasm, as when he was performing.
From 1997 through 1999 Joseph has played with the quartet of saxophonist Rosario Giuliani. Throughout the latter part of the ‘90s, he played with Giuliani and other significant groups traveling the festival circuits and he performed at some of the better known jazz festivals: Gexto Jazz Festival (Spain), Jazz a Liegi (Belgium), the Umbria Jazz Festival, Jazz & Image, Ancona Jazz, Marajazz, Urbino Jazz, and Teano Jazz, just to name a few..
In September 1997, he competed in the Europ Jazz Contest, one of the most important competitions, held annually in Brussels. Out of 60 groups, most of them coming from various parts of the European continent, the quartet he was performing with claimed first prize and were crowned the best musical group that year.
Two years later, Joseph returned to New York City and landed a gig playing as a member of Trio 65, the house band at Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room, performing six days a week. New York being a mecca for jazz and jazz musicians, he was able stay employed playing with some of the best jazz artists anywhere: J.D.Allen, Clifford Barbaro, Isaac Ben Ayala, David Berkman, Peter Bernstein, Adam Birnbaum, Otis Brown, Chris Byars, Renato Chicco, Tim Collins, Marc Copland, Billy Drummond, Duane Eubanks, Joe Farnswoth, Joel Frahm, Rick Germanson, Dave Gibson, Aaron Goldberg, Ned Goold, Noah Haidu, Tardo Hammer, Rufus Harley, Frank Hewitt, Victor Jones, Michael Kanan, Billie Kay, Ralph La Lama, Brad Leali, Eric Lewis, Terry Lynn Carrington, Jimmy Lovelace, Joe Lovano, Joe Magnarelli, Pete Malinverni, Ronnie Matthews, Bill McHenry, Eric McPherson, Dado Moroni, John Mosca, Lance Murphy, Cynthia Scott, David Schnitter, James Spaulding, Grant Stewart, Marcus Strickland, Mark Turner, Richie Vitale, Nasheet Waits, Ben Waltzer, Jeff Watts, Harry Withaker, Michael Wilner, Michael Weiss, Lenny White, Jeff Williams, Richard Wyands, Leroy Williams, Sam Yahel.
Joseph had an opportunity to work in the film industrty appearing in Anthony Minghella’s film, The Talented Mr. Ripley which starred Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow. In 2006 Lepore returned to academe when he was admitted into the jazz program at CCNY, to further hone his virtuosity, while still gigging around the New York City area. Among his tutors was the legendary bassist, John Patitucci.
Two years later (2008) he was "hand picked" by renowned saxophonist Greg Osby for his new band of upcoming talents (with which he records the album 9 Levels), which provided him significant exposure, and brought him closer to record his own album.
Osby had launched Inner Circle Music, in 2007, providing a fresh crop of gifted jazz artists, with the opportunity to record and distribute their own projects. But before Lepore signed on to record, he accepted a teaching grant that took him to the Ecole Nationale De Musique in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to teach jazz performance. He had been to Africa in 2004, with singer Cynthia Scott, traveling and performing as part of the American Music Abroad program sponsored by the State Department and the Kennedy Center and in 2007, he had returned with the Charlie Porter Quartet as part of the same American Music Abroad program. Upon his return, he resumed where he had left off with Osby. During his time working with him, Joseph has had the opportunity to perform also with notable sax players Mark Turner and Joe Lovano.
His debut album as a band leader, Journal, has been released in August 2010 for Inner Circle Music, receiving great reviews from both the US and European media.
In 2011 he forms TrioKinesis with Eric Person and Shinnosuke Takahashi. This collective's debut album has been released in spring 2012. Throughout 2012 he plays with young upcoming tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana and records her second album for Inner Circle Muisc, "Second Cycle". Joseph currently plays also with guitar master Paul Bollenback and has recorded his new album "Portraits In Space And Time", released in Sep 2014.