Joel Kerr is one of Montreal’s busiest and most versatile bassists, as well as a composer, arranger and bandleader. He is involved in many ongoing creative projects, and immersed in Montreal’s jazz, world and soul music scenes.
His current project is an electric quartet, a throwback to the musical explosion of the late 60s and early 70s, but with the influence of modern sounds such as indie rock, contemporary classical music, and R&B. The ensemble features Kenny Bibace on guitar, Andrew Boudreau on Fender Rhodes, and Mark Nelson on drums. The group released a new album, False Dawn, in May 2015. (buy it here)
Joel is a co-leader and co-composer for Montreal soul band The Key-Lites, and experimental jazz trio Bean. He is a co-leader and co-arranger for the new old Jewish music ensemble Siach Hasadeh, and a member of the original klezmer band Shtreiml, as well as the Montreal/Ottawa based experimental jazz group Craig Pedersen Quartet. With these groups as well as various other ensembles ranging from symphony orchestras to rock bands, Joel has toured extensively across Canada, as well as in the US and Europe.
The release of his first album, Joel Kerr Quintet, led directly to a performance at the 2011 Montreal International Jazz Festival, which in turn resulted in a position of finalist for the Montreal Jazz Festival TD Grand Jazz Award, and a nomination for the Galaxie Rising Star Award.
Joel holds a Master of Music in Jazz Performance degree from McGill University, and recently completed a Master of Library and Information Studies degree, also at McGill University.
As a cross-genre sideman, Joel performs with several artists, including Sarah Slean (Toronto), Irem Bekter, Moe Clark, Marie Trezanini, Renée Yoxon (Montreal/Ottawa), Marie-Claire Durand, and Ismail Fencioglu.