ABOUT Joel Vanderheyden
Dr. Joel Vanderheyden is a versatile saxophonist, composer, and educator with tremendous passion for the unifying power of music. As a performer, he draws upon his study of jazz (M.M. with Chris Vadala) and classical saxophone (D.M.A. with Kenneth Tse), immersing himself in a variety of musical situations ranging from the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to the cinematic electro-jazz group Koplant No. He is also a regular member of the Jazz St. Louis Big Band, the live-looping trio Vehachi, and the Missouri Saxophone Quartet. He has performed on stages in the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Scotland, Croatia, and across the United States at large festivals, intimate jazz clubs, and some of the world's finest concert halls.
Vanderheyden is the recipient of a grant from the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, and his debut album of original compositions, Complete Life, was selected as one of the top albums of 2009 by KCCK Jazz 88.3FM. He has both performed with and written music for Strings of Arda, a chamber group from the St. Louis Symphony and was named a quarterfinalist for the 2018 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.
Currently, Dr. Vanderheyden serves as Professor of Music and Director of Jazz at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, MO, and teaches Applied Saxophone at Washington University. He maintains an active schedule working with high school and college students across the country and is a performing artist/clinician for D'Addario Woodwinds and Selmer Paris Saxophones.