Conservatory of Music
faculty

photo of Joe Ferry

Joe Ferry
Associate Professor of Music

biography
philosophy
performance
venues/tours
recordings
audio clips

Education
B.S., Long Island University; M.F.A., Purchase College; Ph.D., Kennedy-Western University.

Dr. Joe Ferry is a Westchester County, NY-based record producer with multiple Grammy Nominations to his credit. Over a career spanning almost 30 years, Dr. Ferry has produced records and played bass on recording sessions for such noted artists as The Skatalites, Dr.John, Rhonda Vincent, Eileen Ivers, Nicolette Larson, John Hammond, Sue Foley, Double Trouble, The Roches, The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, The Skandalous All-Stars and Delbert McClinton. His critically acclaimed productions are among the most famous of the 80's and 90's, including People Get Ready:A Tribute To Curtis Mayfield (featuring David Sanborn, Vernon Reid and Huey Lewis & The News among many others), Bluesiana Triangle (Dr.John, Art Blakey, Dave Newman) and Hi-Bop Ska (The Skatalites).

A graduate of Long Island University (Bachelor of Science degree, 1972), Dr. Ferry began his professional career playing guitar and bass at social functions throughout the New York area. In 1976, he was invited to play on a recording session at RCA Studios for a local society orchestra. This led to his employment as a staff producer for RCA Records. While at RCA (1977-1981), Dr. Ferry worked on recording sessions with Barbra Streisand, Hall & Oates, David Bowie, Cleo Laine, Mel Torme, Roberta Flack and many others. In 1981, Dr. Ferry founded his own independent record label, SOS Records. As Creative Director of the company, he signed and produced such internationally noted artists as Dr. John, The Roches and Nicolette Larson. In 1988, Dr. Ferry developed and produced the CD Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, one of the most acclaimed albums of the decade. To help promote the album, Dr. Ferry, Dr.John and a host of friends were invited to perform on NBC-TV's Late Night With David Letterman. Royalties were donated to a variety of worthy causes to help fight hatred, violence and racism.

Return to top

Dr. Ferry sold SOS Records in 1989 and accepted a staff producer position at Windham Hill Jazz Records where he signed and produced Dr. John's Grammy nominated blues CD, Bluesiana Triangle. In 1991, he left Windham Hill to accept a staff producer position at Shanachie Records, a position he still holds. In addition to the albums mentioned above, Dr. Ferry's prolific work at Shanachie includes such Grammy nominated CDs as Greetings From Skamania (The Skatalites), Hi-Bop Ska (The Skatalites), The Big Kibosh (The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars), Fresh Out The Past (The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars), 10 Days In November (Sue Foley), Tales From The Austin Motel (Debbie Davies w/ Double Trouble) and The Age of Insects (The Skandalous AllStars) among dozens of others. Dr. Ferry now co-owns the independent record label Larchmont Recordings Inc. The label’s debut CD, Future Blues featuring Bluesgrass Artist of the Year Rhonda Vincent, Eileen Ivers (Riverdance), Sue Foley and many more, received a Grammy nomination. The second release on Larchmont is Sunshine On Your Back Porch featuring once again Rhonda Vincent as well as such world renowned artists as Duke Robillard, Melissa Ferrick, Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart, Randy Brecker, Jenny O and many more. Upcoming releases include Anthology by acclaimed ska band The Hurtin’ Buckaroos and Celebrating The Music of Okeh Records featuring guitar legend John Abercrombie, blues great Michael Hill and jazz vocalist Cyrille-Aimee Daudel. Dr. Ferry also produced the New York Times Top 10 Critics Choice CD, “The French Suites” by renowned harpsichordist Bradley Brookshire. Joe Ferry’s solo ska releases include “Big Ska” and “55:22”, both on Shantytown Records.

Dr. Ferry has written and produced music for a number of major motion pictures, including Mixed Nuts (starring Steve Martin), I Love Trouble (starring Julia Roberts) and Meet The Deedles (starring Dennis Hopper) as well as television programs including MTV's The Osbournes, The Leeza Gibbons Show (NBC) and General Hospital (ABC). He has also scored music for several PBS programs.

Dr. Ferry has toured as bassist with internationally acclaimed blues guitarist Sue Foley, Top Ten singer/songwriter Billy Vera, contemporary blues master Michael Hill with The Blues Rockets, Shanachie Recording Artists Syndicate of Soul, singer/songwriter Jackie Martino, CMH Recording Artists The Lounge Brigade as well as his own group, Joe Ferry & The Big Ska Band, among many more. He has performed at such prestigious venues as The Newport Jazz Festival (Newport RI), The Bottom Line (New York City), 3rd & Lindsley (Nashville TN), The Tobacco Company (Richmond VA), The Asheville Arts Council (Asheville NC), The North Star (Philadelphia PA), The Milford Music Festival (Milford PA), The Acoustic Café (Bridgeport CT), The Bayou (Mt. Vernon NY) and The Lonestar Roadhouse (New York City), among many others and he has performed on programs with The Toasters, Ricki Lee Jones, King Django, Leon Redbone, Derek Trucks, The Radiation Kings, David Amram, Eileen Ivers, Bo Diddley, Steve Morse and Jack Mack & The Heart Attack.

Joe Ferry has recently set forth on yet another career path, that of actor. He is playing the part of “The Narrator” in a revival of The Rocky Horror Show.

Joe Ferry is a prolific and popular painter of original acrylic art and has begun work on his first book, a history of Jamaican music from 1945 to present.

In addition to his degree from Long Island University, Dr. Ferry holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Purchase College where he now chairs the Studio Production Department and a Ph.D. from Kennedy Western University.

Dr. Ferry is an active supporter of a number of charitable organizations including St. Jude's Childrens Research Hospital, The Coalition For The Homeless, The American Heart Association and others.

For more information, visit www.joeferrymusic.com

Return to top