Dr. Joseph L. Jefferson is an award-winning music that currently serves as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Ensembles/Applied Jazz Trombone at St. Olaf College. Trained in both classical and jazz traditions, Joseph is a versatile and well-rounded musician that performs as a soloist, and chamber musician in Symphonic, Jazz, and Commercial musical settings both nationally and internationally. Joseph’s honors and awards range across the scholastic and musical spectrum. Recently, Joseph was selected as 1 of 40 music educators throughout the country to be featured in the “Yamaha 40 under 40” Class of 2023. He has also been awarded the 2022 Ellis Marsalis, Jr. Jazz Educator of the Year by the Jazz Education Network. Regularly, Joseph is invited to serve as a guest artist, clinician, and adjudicator for both high schools and collegiate music programs throughout the United States. As a scholar, Joseph has published his research on the Shout Band Tradition, as well as numerous articles for the International Trombone Association and the Historic Brass Society. 

The breadth and depth of Joseph’s performance repertoire is evidenced in the list of engagements he held prior to moving to Minnesota. In the classical genre, Joseph has performed with world-renowned artists and groups, such as Zoltan Kiss, The Irish Tenors, Paducah Symphony Orchestra, Colour of Music Orchestra, U.S. Army Continental Band, Rose City Trombones, Tidewater Winds, and Symphonicity. He has also premiered compositions by Kevin Day, Andrew Durkin, James Hosay, Robert Senay, and Stuart Dempster. As a soloist, Joseph has performed with Marshall University Jazz Ensemble, George Fox University Jazz Ensemble, Mt. Hood Symphonic Band, Southeast Missouri State University Wind Symphony, Treasure Valley Wind Symphony, and the Fruitland Wind Ensemble. As a jazz/commercial musician, Joseph leads the JLJ Jazz Quartet.  Additionally, has performed with Vanessa Williams, Sean Jones, Andre Hayward, John Fedchock, Nick Finzer, The Cab Calloway Orchestra, Christopher Bill, Jennifer Wharton, Louis Romanos Quartet, Jae Sinnett, Mike Berkowitz, Mark Michelson Big Band, Randy Brecker, Slide Hampton, The Fuzz Band, Sinatra at the Sands Big Band Review, Pranksters Big Band, Treasure Valley Swing Band, and Stuart Dempster (World Premiere 2017 International Trombone Festival). Joseph has also performed with international R&B artists Dwele, Jon Bibbs and Raheem Devaughn. As a collaborative artist, he has also worked with renowned Japanese poet, Lawson Inada, for an evening of jazz and poetry. Joseph’s performances have also been broadcasted on Missouri’s KRCU (90.9/88.9), and an affiliate with NPR and KFVS (Channel 12) - The Heartland's CW, an affiliate with CBS.

Joseph’s honors and awards range across the scholastic and musical spectrum. These honors and awards include: Best Jazz Ensemble and Best Trombone Section (Villanova Collegiate Jazz Festival), finalist in American Prize Competition (as a member in the West Virginia University Symphony Orchestra), University Provost Fellowship (West Virginia University), Academic Enrichment Fellow (West Virginia University), and a Chancellor Scholar (West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission). In 2016, the Jazz Society of Oregon featured Joseph in its Jazz Scene publication. 

This pattern of engagement and recognition continued during his tenure at Southeast Missouri State University. In 2018, the Office of the Provost recognized Dr. Jefferson in the faculty spotlight highlighting his performance and teaching successes at Southeast Missouri State University. In 2019, Dr. Jefferson was selected as the Holland College of Arts & Media Outstanding Teaching Award Recipient and in 2022, Dr. Jefferson was awarded the Provost Award for Experiential Teaching at Southeast. This success has been passed down to his students through his teaching. Dr. Jefferson’s students have been accepted in the summer music festivals, selected as finalists in solo competitions, as well as been awarded music scholarships to major music programs throughout the country.

Dr. Jefferson has been an invited guest artist and presenter at the International Trombone Festival, Jazz Education Network Conference, International Women’s Brass Conference, Washington State Music Educators Association Conference, Louisiana Music Educators Association Conference, Jazz Institute of Chicago, Darkwater Festival, NAfME - Eastern Division Conference, International Horn Symposium, University of Reno Jazz Festival, University of Evansville Brass & Percussion Day, Mt. Hood Community College, Mineral Area College, and Three Rivers College. He has also taught masterclasses and performed at colleges and universities in Idaho, Oregon, Virginia, Missouri, Texas, Nevada, Nebraska, and North Carolina. Internationally, Joseph has had performing and teaching residencies in Bermuda and Asia at the College of Music, Mahidol University (Nakhon Pathom, Thailand).

Prior to arriving at St. Olaf College, Joseph has held faculty positions at Southeast Missouri State University, The University of Portland, and Treasure Valley CC. Joseph earned degrees from West Virginia University (D.M.A.), Shenandoah Conservatory (M.M.), and Norfolk State University (B.M.) under the tutelage of esteemed faculty; including, Dr. Keith Jackson, Dr. Wayne Wells, Dr. Mike Hall, and Mr. Paul Adams. He has also received instruction from Joseph Alessi, Andre Hayward, Amanda Stewart, Vincent Gardner, and Dr. Natalie Mannix.

Dr. Joseph L. Jefferson maintains his connection with the larger community of musicians and educators through his membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., Jazz Education Network, International Trombone Association, NAfME (Southwestern Jazz Division Representative), National Advisory Board Member - “One City” - VanderCook College of Music (Outreach Program), Texas Music Educators Association, and the Jazz Content Editor for the Historical Brass Society. Additionally, Dr. Jefferson regularly serves as a clinician/consultant for Jazz at Lincoln Center.