JOE BAER MAGNANT
Joe Baer Magnant is a guitarist, composer, and educator. He performs mainly with the Bay Area instrumental soul group The M-Tet and his own trio, The Joe Baer Magnant Group. He currently records for Lugnut Brand Records (Oakland), Funk Night Records (Detroit), Raza Del Sol (San Jose), as well as others. He is also a dedicated instructor and has a complete series in the works, The Guitarist's Palette, the first volume of which was published in 2016. His playing is mainly influenced by soul-jazz, folk, and blues, with Grant Green and Bill Frisell as his two biggest influences.
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 well as performing at venues such as SF Jazz and The Great American Music Hall.
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.
• The D.O.C. - It's Funky Enough (The M-Tet x Platurn remix) (DJ Platurn) 2018
• Three Baby Cuffss 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
Joe plays his own custom built telecaster style guitars with Lollar Pickups through Fender Princeton Reverbs and Fender Deluxe Reverbs. If back-lining gear, Fender Amps are preferred with working tremolo and reverb channels along with working footswitches, however, if not possible he can bring his own effects.
He plays with small pedalboards, suited for different gigs. His main pedalboard includes a Chase Bliss drive, tremolo, and delay pedals, along with an Xotic RC Booster V2 and Catlinbread Topanga Reverb. His main M-Tet board consists of a Xotic RC Booster V1 and XW1 Wah, and an Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi. His loop station board includes an Electro Harmonix 22500, Freeze, and Deluxe Memory Man with Harazai.