Joe Abbatantuono has been a native New Yorker for his entire life. Born in the Bronx and raised in Dutchess County, he began playing drums at age nine and has continued to this day. He holds a B.M. from The Crane School of Music and an M.A. from New York University and has been playing drums & percussion for over twenty years. His musical directions are vast: jazz, pop, rock, hip hop, big band, latin, experimental, funk and more; this diversity of style stands as the basis for his musical path. This international journey has taken him to cities and countries such as Mexico, Montreal, Toronto, Colombia, The Dominican Republic, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, and across the United States, where he has shared his and others' music with many cultures.
As a sideman, Joe's resume is vast and varied. Highlights include performances and/or collaborations with artists such as The Bjorkestra, Militia Vox, Jessica Simpson, Tommy & CJ Ramone, Pacha Massive, Collider, Jerry Jemmott, Frank Lacy, Jon Gordon, Morgan James, Dave Douglas, Donny McCaslin, Benny Rietveld, & Kurt Rosenwinkel.
As a bandleader, Joe leads a jazz & hip hop fusion project called the Identity Crisis, which blends the improvisation of jazz, with the groove of a funk band, and the blending of socially conscious hip hop. He also is a founder and member of the international jazz project called The New York Jazz Exchange. This group is a half Swedish/half American quintet that has performed together for over 5 years, performing across both Europe and The United States, promoting a spirit of community in modern jazz that crosses genres and borders. Lastly, he runs an ensemble called The Joe Abba Jazz Project, a varying size and member jazz project which showcases his writing and arranging in a modern and creative musical setting.
"I play Yamaha, because I can always count on them for consistency and durability. The drums always sound great, the hardware is always strong. This is top notch gear and helps me speak with the artistic voice that's in my soul. Yamaha is my standard bearer."
— Joe Abbatantuono