Joel Purnell

Principal Lecturer: Jazz


Job title: Principal Lecturer: Jazz

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Specialisms: Performance, Improvisation, Harmony, Jazz Language and Pedagogy

Saxophonist and composer Joel Purnell is acknowledged as one of the UK’s most respected and exciting contemporary jazz musicians and educators.

Purnell’s latest album ‘Red Shift’ won international critical acclaim, Jazzwise Magazine portraying his style as “reminiscent of John Coltrane”, whilst The Guardian & Jazz UK describe him as “a muscular, assertive saxophonist whose fluent solos show a strong sense of direction”, and though “a subtle tone-colourist on ballads”, Purnell also demonstrates “the kind of attacking, melodically twisting approach that shows how powerfully he has absorbed the legacy of Michael Brecker”.
As one of the most sought after musicians and jazz educators of the moment, Joel Purnell is highly regarded in the educational arena by both jazz academics and students alike and was recently nominated as ‘Jazz Educator of the Year’ in the Jazz Yorkshire Awards.

Currently holding the post of Principal Lecturer at Leeds College of Music and lecturing on the faculty of York University, Joel also delivers private lessons, workshops and master classes in Performance, Improvisation, Harmony, Jazz Language and Pedagogy, throughout the UK.
With an ever expanding discography, Joel has performed and recorded with many highly reputable bands and musicians from a wide range of genres. These include amongst others, a critically acclaimed tour and album (‘New York Minute’) with the ‘Rick Zunigar Quartet’, headed by the legendary Los Angeles jazz guitarist (formerly of the ‘Stevie Wonder Band’, ‘Chick Corea’ and ‘Freddie Hubbard’).

Joel also regularly collaborates with the innovative jazz pianist ‘Jamil Sheriff’ (including the ‘Contemporary Big Band’ and ‘Octet’ projects) and is featured on both of Sheriff’s highly praised albums, ‘Daydreams’ and ‘Backchat’.

Away from the jazz circuit, Joel has worked alongside the American soul diva ‘Viola Wills’ and performs, writes and records with New York’s funk club scene favourites ‘Capri’, who have recently supplied the theme tune for US MTV programme ‘The Paper’.

Touring with some of the UK’s best selling rock and pop bands including the Indie group ‘Embrace’, Purnell has appeared at some of the largest live music venues in the UK and Europe whilst with another of his many projects, the ‘B3 Horns’, he has been featured on numerous recordings including the latest album 'My Time' from R&B sensation 'Laura' and the eagerly awaited album ‘Satellite Sweetheart’ by ‘Dave Formula’ (formerly of the bands ‘Magazine’, ‘Visage’ and ‘The Angel Brothers’).
Originally formed in 2003, his own band ‘The Joel Purnell Quartet’, showcases an “exhilarating” collaboration of like minded and highly experienced jazz musicians inspired by the American jazz masters of past and present. With a philosophy focused on musicality, feel and expression this “high-class band” creates a unique, melodic blend of “hard-charging” contemporary jazz. Consisting of double bassist Zoltan Dekany, pianist Jamil Sheriff and drummer John Perry, ‘The Joel Purnell Quartet’ regularly perform throughout the UK and Europe.


Our Clearing Helpline isn't open until Monday but whatever your results, discover what your options could be at LCoM
UoH-Logo.png (2) Leeds_City_College.png QAA-Quality-Mark-2017.png Conservatoires_Logo.png Partner_1.png AEC_Logo.png Roland_Logo.png