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Joe Ferry

Professor Emeritus of Music

Joe Ferry is an award-winning record producer, author, bassist, and educator. During a career spanning more than 35 years, he 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 include 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).

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 session work as a bassist-guitarist-contractor for numerous artists, including Debbie Allen, Benny Diggs, and soul groups Revelation, Unity, and Xavier (with Bootsy Collins). In 1981, Ferry founded his own independent record label, SOS Records. As creative director of the company, he signed and produced such artists as Dr. John, the Roches, and Nicolette Larson.

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. His prolific work at Shanachie includes such Grammy-nominated CDs as Greetings From Skamania (The Skatalites), Hi-Bop Ska (The Skatalites), The Big Kibosh and Fresh Out The Past (The New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars), 10 Days In November (Sue Foley), Tales from the Austin Motel (Debbie Davies with Double Trouble) and The Age of Insects (The Skandalous AllStars). Ferry now co-owns the independent record label Larchmont Recordings Inc. The label’s debut CD Future Blues featuring Rhonda Vincent, Eileen Ivers, Sue Foley, and many others received a Grammy nomination. In 2013, Ferry started his own publishing company and record label, Joe Ferry LLC.

Ferry began teaching at Purchase College in 1990 and founded the studio production program in the Conservatory of Music in 1997. He served as the Purchase College faculty presiding officer (2010–12), chair of the Strategic Planning Committee (2004–07), and head of the studio production program (1997–2012). He was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012 and retired as professor emeritus in August 2016.