JOE BAER MAGNANT
Joe Baer Magnant is a guitarist, composer, and educator that teaches and performs throughout the U.S. with various groups. Recording for Northern California labels such as Lugnut Brand Records and Transistor Sound, as well as other labels including Funk Night Records of Detroit, his career has been rich with various musical styles that have converged into a unique sound of soul, jazz, and blues. Founded in 2013, The Oakland-based instrumental soul group The M-Tet quickly became a defining force in the Bay Area, releasing albums with several prominent record labels in the genre while sharing the stage and recording with the most prolific and influential acts of the classic soul sound, including the legendary Daptone Records roster. Meanwhile, his own jazz quartet and trio that were originally based on the early fusion styles of the late 60s Gary Burton, evolved into a bluesier sounding soul group with a driving beat and horn section known as Joe Baer Magnant & The Ready, debuting on Funk Night Records. In addition to performing, his commitment to music education remains strong, with a his own method book The Guitarist’s Palette, and a strong roster of around 40 students for over a decade, some of which have gone on to win notable scholarships and competitions, record and perform professionally, and be accepted into prestigious music programs and universities.
An avid student of music at the age of five, Magnant has been an active performer and educator since the early 2000s. Starting as a self-taught guitarist through his youth in a small town in Vermont, Magnant ended up with a diverse background stemming from his explorations of a wide range of styles during his time in Boston. It was there that he worked with other young musicians developing their styles, working as a guitarist for singer/songwriter James Cleare (later of The Spring Standards) and as a founding member of the dance/pop group Gentlemen Hall (which later went on to win a MTV VMA and perform on the national Billboard Music Awards). However, improvisation remained a consistent passion, which he satisfied by co-hosting open free-jazz jam sessions at his apartment. Although he didn’t consider himself a traditional jazz musician by background, at those sessions, he was able to play with challenging musicians that later worked with everyone from Esperanza Spalding and Kurt Rosenwinkel to Conspirator, Dr. Dre, and Kendrick Lamar. These diverse musical experiences led him to jazz clubs, hole-in-the-wall punk and rock clubs, and folk stages such as the historic landmark Club Passim, and influenced the development of his specific approach to the guitar that blends the styles of folk, country, blues, soul, jazz, and world music.
In 2005, he moved to Cape Cod, MA, where he played as a solo artist, in small jazz combos and a rock dance band, and as a for-hire session and fill-in guitarist, performing up to 300 shows year in addition to teaching music full-time. Four years later, he moved to Berkeley, CA, gaining the freedom to once again explore a more creative side of music. With the ability to redefine his technique and approach to playing the guitar, he began composing again and was accepted as a student by two dramatically different virtuosic guitarists, Oz Noy and Mimi Fox, with whom he studied intermittently while establishing a career in the Bay Area. In a search for like-minded musicians in the Bay Area, he ultimately formed The Joe Baer Magnant Group and became a founding member of The M-Tet. Between the two groups, he has released a dozens of albums on several labels, performs regularly throughout California, and has opened for legends such as Lee Fields & The Expressions and Daptone’s Sugarman 3.
As an educator, he has taught hundreds of students, some of whom have become accepted at the most prestigious contemporary music schools in the world, including The Hartt School of Music, Berklee College of Music, and The New School. Although he currently teaches privately, he was one of the youngest faculty members at the Cape Cod Conservatory of Music, directed by Jung Ho Pak (Director of Interlochen and The San Diego Symphony) and Stephanie Weaver (esteemed faculty member of The University of Michigan and Concordia University). He holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies from Berklee College of Music, studied early childhood development and education at Charter Oak College, and had his writing on music education advocacy and anti-racism movements in American music published in The Cape Cod Community College Journal. He currently teaches around 40 students a week, is working on the follow-up volumes to his method book series, records with The M-Tet and The Joe Baer Magnant Group, and plays with various groups around the Bay Area.
• Pawn Shop Soul - Trinidad (Lugnut Brand Records LBR-4509, 45, Ditital) 2018 (Mastering)
• Joe Baer Magnant Trio - Tarnation (Old Tom Foolery OTF-3103, Digital, CD) 2018
• The D.O.C. - It's Funky Enough (The M-Tet x Platurn remix) (DJ Platurn) 2018
• Thee Baby Cuffs w/ The M-Tet - Where Did Our Pride Go (Raza Del Soul RAZA-001, 45, Digital) 2017
• Joe Baer Magnant Group - Trois Gnossiennes (Old Tom Foolery OTF-3102, Digital, CD) 2017
• Capriccio, Magnant & Associattes - Local Government Victory (Lugnut Brand Records LBR-4507, 45) 2017
• The M-Tet - Long Play (Lugnut Brand Records LBR-3303, LP, CD, Digital) 2017
• Joe Baer Magnant Group - Liminal Spaces (Old Tom Foolery OTF-3301, 33rpm LP, Digital, CD) 2016
• The M-Tet - Sals•U•Sav (Lugnut Brand Records LBR-4506, 45) 2016
• The M-Tet - VAMP, Oakland (Funk Night Records FNR-061, 45) 2016
• The M-Tet - Finger Poppin' Time! (Lugnut Brand Records LBR-3302, Digital) 2015
• The Edomites - Balisong (Aklasan Records) 2015 (Mastering)
• The M-Tet - Express Yourself (Funk Night Records FNR-055, 45) 2015
• The M-Tet - Mike's New Adidas (Lugnut Brand Records LBR-4505, 45) 2015
• Joe Baer Magnant Group - Traces (Old Tom Foolery Records OTF CD3100, Digital, CD) 2014
• The M-Tet - Hot Buttered Rum! (Lugnut Brand Records LBR-3301, Digital) 2014
• The M-Tet - Number One (Lugnut Brand Records LBR-4504, 45) 2014