Doctor of Musical Arts and Veteran of US Navy Fleet Bands, Joseph David Howell was born in Porterville, California. After starting on the clarinet in elementary school, Joseph developed a strong interest in music while in junior high, and added the saxophones and flute to his arsenal in high school. Howell completed his Bachelor’s degree at CSU Northridge, where he began his formal study of both jazz and classical music. While finishing his Master’s degree studies at San Diego State University, he appeared on Rick Helzer’s recording "Face in the Mirror." At New England Conservatory in Boston, Joseph earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts. The culmination of his studies there was his first album, entirely comprised of original compositions, with classmates he knew at the conservatory: "Jazz Clarinet Now!"
After his schooling, Joseph worked as a music teacher and musician, first in San Diego and then in the DC/MD/VA area. He recently served an enlistment in the US Navy, performing and deploying all over Asia with the Seventh Fleet Band. While abroad, he also performed as a solo artist and clinician in Japan, India, Singapore, and Hong Kong, wrote audio review articles for the International Clarinet Association, and released his newest CD, comprised of jazz standards: "Time Made to Swing." Having returned to the DC/MD/VA region, he has resumed his teaching and performing in the area.
Musicians and writers unanimously use the words “virtuosic” and/or “virtuoso” when describing Howell’s clarinet and woodwind performances. As a jazz solo artist, he has shared the stage with names such as Paquito D’Rivera, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Rick Helzer, Marilyn Crispell, the Beantown Swing Orchestra, and many others. He has performed as a leader and soloist in many venues all over the US, as well as in India, Japan, Singapore, and Hong Kong! As a classical clarinet soloist, he has performed many of the standard classics, modernistic works by composer colleagues, and even a few of his own original works.
Joseph Howell has taught private music lessons for over fifteen years! He has taught woodwinds and other band instruments, piano, music theory, jazz improvisation, and musical composition to students of various ages and levels. He has taught classes and masterclasses in the US and abroad of various sizes, ages, levels, and demographics: from elementary school band to college level music theory, jazz improvisation, and ensembles.
As a teacher, Howell works with students as young as 4 through adult, focusing much of his woodwinds instruction in the middle school age group. He tries to cater lesson plans to the goals and learning styles of his students and believes that it is very important to practice and learn with the students, showing them how to practice on their own.