Basic Background Info

Birth: July 17, 1929
Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
Band: The Dave Brubeck Quartet
Genres: Jazz
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician, Writer


Joe Morello was born on July 17, 1929, in Springfield, Massachusetts. Unfortunately, Joe Morello was born with impaired vision, and his early childhood revolved around indoor activities. However, at the age of six, Joe Morello began studying the violin. Joe Morello had discovered a natural talent—by the age of nine he was playing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a soloist. When he was fifteen, Joe Morello met his idol, Jascha Heifetz. Shortly thereafter, Joe Morello switched to the drums in order to achieve the “sound” that he felt was unachievable through the violin. Joe Morello's passion for learning and playing was clearly evident. Joe Morello would sit in practically anywhere that would allow him to drum. Before long, he began getting more and more offers. Joe Morello happily accepted everything that he was offered.

The breakthrough of Joe Morello's career occurred when he was recommended to see the great George Lawrence Stone in Boston. Through Mr. Stone, Joe Morello learned most of his techniques and skills. In addition, Joe learned that his future was in jazz, not percussion as he once believed. Thanks to George Lawrence Stone, Joe Morello quickly became known as the best drummer in the area, and he began playing for various bands such as Grand Old Opry and Hank Garland.

After joining various bands for short stints, Joe Morello moved to New York City and began playing for even more bands before joining the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Brubeck's Quartet is incredibly responsible for popularizing odd-time music. Joe Morello is most known for his time with this quartet. Joe Morello has released over 60 albums with the Dave Brubeck Quartet and over 60 more with various other artists and bands. Although the Dave Brubeck Quartet has not been officially together since 1968, Joe Morello continues to play occasional reunions on top of writing instructional books and teaching private lessons.
Joe Morello passed away in Irvington, New Jersey on March 12, 2011. He was 82 years old.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1920 Two Facets of Louis: 1920-1950 Louis Armstrong
1927 This Is Jazz, Vol. 23: Louis Armstrong Sings Louis Armstrong
1942 Capitol 50th Anniversary Jazz Box Various Artists
1946 Time Signatures: A Career Retrospective Dave Brubeck
1950 Lookin' for a Boy Various Artists
1950 Sweet Paul, Vol. 1 Paul Desmond
1951 Complete Debut Recordings Charles Mingus
1951 Marian McPartland in Concert Marian McPartland
1952 Debut Records Story Various Artists
1952 Lullaby of Birdland Marian Mcpartland
1952 New Faces, New Sounds Gil Melle Quintet-Sextet
1953 Gil Melle Quintet, Vol. 2 Gil Melle Quintet
1953 Jazz Guitarist Chuck Wayne Featuring Zoot Sims & Brew M
1953 Sal Salvador Quintet/Kenton Presents Jazz: Sal Salvador Sal Salvador
1953 Tal Farlow Quartet Tal Farlow
1953 Tasty Pudding Chuck Wayne/Brew Moore/Zoot Sims
1954 Complete Helen Merrill on Mercury (1954-1958) Helen Merrill
1954 Early Quintets Phil Woods
1954 Jimmy Raney Quintet Jimmy Raney Quintet
1954 Live (1954 and 1959) The Dave Brubeck Quartet
1954 On Campus The Dave Brubeck Quartet
1954 Tal Farlow Album Tal Farlow
1954 This Is Jazz, Vol. 3 Dave Brubeck
1955 Blues and Other Shades of Green Urbie Green
1955 Jazz Keyboards Various Artists
1956 After Dark Marian McPartland
1956 Dream of You Helen Merrill
1956 Early Art Art Pepper
1956 Jazz Impressions of the U.S.A. Dave Brubeck
1956 Joe Morello Sextet Joe Morello
1956 Live (1956-1957) The Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring Paul
1956 Marian McPartland Trio Marian McPartland
1956 New Chamber Jazz Various Artists
1956 Return of Art Pepper: The Complete Art Pepper Aladdin Recordings Art Pepper
1956 Shades of Sal Salvador Sal Salvador
1956 Young Woods Phil Woods
1957 Dave Digs Disney Dave Brubeck
1957 Jazz Goes to Junior College Dave Brubeck
1957 Reunion Dave Brubeck with Paul Desmond and Dave
1958 Dave Brubeck Quartet in Europe Dave Brubeck
1958 Jazz Impressions of Eurasia Dave Brubeck
1958 Newport 1958: Brubeck Plays Ellington The Dave Brubeck Quartet
1959 Gone With the Wind Dave Brubeck Quartet
1959 Riddle Dave Brubeck With Bill Smith
1959 Southern Scene Dave Brubeck
1959 St. Louis Blues Dave Brubeck
1959 Summit Sessions The Dave Brubeck Quartet
1959 Time Out The Dave Brubeck Quartet
1960 All Night Long Original Soundtrack
1960 Brubeck & Rushing Dave Brubeck Quartet Featuring Jimmy Rushing
1960 Brubeck a La Mode Dave Brubeck with Bill Smith
1960 Brubeck Plays Bernstein Plays Brubeck Dave Brubeck & Leonard Bernstein
1960 Tonight Only The Dave Brubeck Quartet
1961 Brandenburg Gate: Revisited Dave Brubeck
1961 It's About Time Joe Morello
1961 Jazz Winds from a New Direction Hank Garland
1961 Joe Morello Joe Morello
1961 Near-Myth Dave Brubeck Quartet with Bill Smith
1961 New Vibe Man in Town Gary Burton
1961 Quartet Dave Brubeck
1961 Real Ambassadors Dave Brubeck
1961 Take Five Dave Brubeck
1961 Time Further Out Dave Brubeck
1962 Angel Eyes Dave Brubeck
1962 Bossa Nova USA Dave Brubeck
1962 Countdown: Time in Outer Space Dave Brubeck
1962 Music from West Side Story Dave Brubeck
1962 Who Is Gary Burton? Gary Burton
1963 Dave Brubeck Quartet at Carnegie Hall Dave Brubeck
1963 Dave Brubeck Quartet in Amsterdam Dave Brubeck
1963 N.Y.C., Carnegie Hall, February 22, 1963 Dave Brubeck Quartet
1963 Supercussion Dick Schory's Persussion Pops Orchestra
1963 Time Changes The Dave Brubeck Quartet
1964 Dave Brubeck in Berlin Dave Brubeck
1964 Dick Schory on Tour Dick Schory
1964 Jazz Impressions of Japan Dave Brubeck
1964 Jazz Impressions of New York Dave Brubeck
1965 Anything Goes: The Music of Cole Porter Dave Brubeck
1965 Canadian Concert of Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
1965 Someday My Prince Will Come Dave Brubeck
1965 Time In Dave Brubeck
1966 Dave Brubeck's Greatest Hits Dave Brubeck
1966 Jackpot! Dave Brubeck
1966 My Favorite Things Dave Brubeck
1967 Bravo! Brubeck! Dave Brubeck Quartet
1967 Buried Treasures: Recorded Live in Mexico City Dave Brubeck & Paul Desmond
1967 Last Time We Saw Paris Dave Brubeck
1967 Right Now! Dave Brubeck
1967 Take Five Live The Dave Brubeck Quartet
1968 Eastern Ferris Wheel Addiss & Crofut
1970 Carnegie Hall Dick Schory
1971 Another Step Forward Joe Morello
1971 Big Apple Bash Jay McShann
1972 Adventures in Time Dave Brubeck
1976 25th Anniversary Reunion Dave Brubeck Quartet
1978 Juicy Lucy Sal Salvador
1982 Aurex Jazz Festival Live: 1982 Dave Brubeck
1988 Great Concerts: Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Carnegie Hall Dave Brubeck Quartet
1990 Guitar Player Presents: Legends of Guitar: Jazz, Vol. 1 Various Artists
1990 Jingle Bell Jazz Various Artists
1991 Blue Guitar Various Artists
1991 Pioneers of the New Age Various Artists
1993 Best of Art Pepper Art Pepper
1993 Going Places Joe Morello
1993 My Funny Valentine: The Rodgers & Hart Songbook Various Artists
1994 Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich Various Artists
1994 Gamut Robert Hohner
1994 Morello Standard Time Joe Morello
1994 These Foolish Things Dave Brubeck
1995 Dave Brubeck Jazz Collection Dave Brubeck
1995 DMP Music Catal DMP Music Catal
1995 Jazz Standards, Vol. 2 Various Artists
1995 This Is Jazz Various Artists
1995 Verve Jazz Masters 41 Tal Farlow
1996 Complete Rodgers & Hart Songbook Various Artists
1996 I've Got You Under My Skin Various Artists
1996 Jazz Collection Dave Brubeck
1996 Late Night Jazz Hour Various Artists
1996 Straight Life Art Pepper
1996 This Is Jazz Sampler, Vol. 21 Various Artists
1997 Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich Various Artists
1997 Monterey Jazz Festival: 40 Legendary Years Various Artists
1997 That Old Black Magic: The Harold Arlen Songbook Various Artists
1998 Complete Blue Note 50s Sessions Gil Melle
1998 Howard McGhee, Vol. 2/Tal Farlow Quartet Howard McGhee & Tal Farlow
1998 It Had to Be You Various Artists
1998 Jazz at Midnight, Vol. 2 Various Artists
1998 Last Days of Jazz Various Artists
1998 This Is Jazz, Vol. 39: Dave Brubeck Plays Standards Dave Brubeck
1999 Blue Bop Various Artists
1999 Blue Note Years, Vol. 1: Boogie Woogie Blues & Bop Various Artists
1999 Dave Brubeck Quartet at Carnegie Hall Dave Brubeck
1999 Dream of You Helen Merrill
1999 Jazz: The Definitive Performances Various Artists
1999 Reprise Marian McPartland & the Hickory House...
1999 Verve Elite Edition Collectors' Disc Various Artists
2000 Best of Ken Burns Jazz Various Artists
2000 Chega de Saudade Getz/ Adderley/ Rogers
2000 Incontournables Dave Brubeck
2000 Ken Burns Jazz: The Story of America's Music Various Artists
2000 Ken Burns Jazz Dave Brubeck
2000 Love Songs Louis Armstrong
2000 Love Songs Dave Brubeck
2000 On 52nd Street Marian McPartland
2001 Burn'in the Blues Palmer/ Abercrombie/ Leto/ Herr
2001 Dave Digs Disney Dave Brubeck
2001 Looking for a Boy Marian McPartland
2001 Tal Farlow's Finest Hour Tal Farlow
2001 Vocal Encounters Dave Brubeck
2002 Ballads: Music for You Dave Brubeck
2002 Ken Burns Jazz, Vol. 2 Various Artists
2002 Live at Shanghai Jazz Marian McPartland
2002 Mercury Songbook Various Artists
2002 Take Five Dave Brubeck
2002 Timeless Marian McPartland
2003 All My Life Marian McPartland
2003 Classic Jazz: Jazz Greats Various Artists
2003 Collections Red Norvo
2003 Essential Dave Brubeck Dave Brubeck
2003 Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual: John Coltrane/Dave Brubeck John Coltrane/Dave Brubeck
2004 Complete Recordings Bob Dorough/Sam Most
2004 Dave Brubeck Quartet with Paul Desmond Dave Brubeck Quartet
2004 For All Time Dave Brubeck
2004 Happy Birthday Newport: 50 Swinging Years Various Artists
2004 NEA Jazz Masters Various Artists
2005 Complete Studio Recordings [Eddie Costa/Sal Salvador Eddie Costa/Sal Salvador Quartet
2005 Get Happy: The Harold Arlen Centennial Celebration Various Artists
2005 Mosaic Select: Art Pepper Art Pepper
2005 Progressions: 100 Years of Jazz Guitar Various Artists
2006 Complete Recordings 1954-1956 Jimmy Raney Quintet
2006 Life Emission Display L.E.D.
2006 Yesterdays: Marian McPartland - The First Lady of Jazz Piano Marian McPartland
2007 Helen Merrill/Dream of You Helen Merrill
2007 In Your Own Sweet Way Dave Brubeck
2007 Jazz Profiles Dave Brubeck
2007 Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival: Highlights, Vol. 1 Various Artists
2007 Live in '64 & '66 Dave Brubeck
2007 Place for Us: A Tribute to 50 Years of West Side Stor Various Artists
2007 Sings the Ultimate American Songbook, Vol. 1 Tony Bennett
2008 Strike It, Rich! Buddy Rich
2008 With Paul Desmond Newport 1956-1959 Dave Brubeck
2008 Time Out/Time In (Bonus Tracks) Dave Brubeck
2008 The Survivor Art Pepper
2008 Live on the Radio: 1956-1957 The Dave Brubeck Quartet
2008 Complete Berlin Concert The Dave Brubeck Quartet
2008 Classic Album Collection Dave Brubeck
2008 50 Years of Dave Brubeck: Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival 1958-2007 Dave Brubeck
2009 In Europe Dave Brubeck
2010 The Navy Swings The Dave Brubeck Quartet
2010 Rushing Lullabies/Brubeck & Rushing Jimmy Rushing
2010 Original Album Classics Dave Brubeck
2010 Legacy of a Legend Dave Brubeck
2010 Gone with the Wind/Jazz Impressions of Eurasia The Dave Brubeck Quartet
2011 Their Last Time Out: The Unreleased Live Concert, December 26, 1967 The Dave Brubeck Quartet
2011 The Music of America: Inventing Jazz Dave Brubeck
2011 Brubeck Plays Bernstein The Dave Brubeck Quartet
2012 The Complete Studio Albums Collection 1955-1966 The Dave Brubeck Quartet
2012 Silver Linings Playbook (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Danny Elfman
2013 The White House Sessions: Live 1962 Tony Bennett
2013 Gone with the Wind Dave Brubeck


  • Joe Morello has written multiple drumming books, including Master Studies, which was produced by Modern Drummer magazine. In addition to writing books, he has also released instructional videos.
  • He claims that his secret to playing is "relaxation" as he describes that drumming is a matter of natural body movement.
  • Joe is also known for his teaching ability. His former students include Danny Gottlieb, Max Weinberg, Patrick Wante, and Rich Galichon.

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Drum Workshop
Cymbals: Sabian
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Heads: Drum Workshop
Sticks: Pro-Mark

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