Joey Blake

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Career Highlights
  • Founding member of Voicestra, SoVoSó (also producer, recording engineer, arranger, songwriter, and vocalist), and WeBe3
  • Member of Bowl Full of Sound, Kodo, Kotoja, Planet Drum, and Round Trip
  • Performances with Jason Becker, the Boston Pops, Sussan Deyhim, George Duke, Mickey Hart, Walter Hawkins, Jon Hendricks, Gladys Knight, Kenny Loggins, Zap Mama, Rebeca Mauleon, Michael McDonald, Bobby McFerrin, Holly Near, Dianne Reeves, Rhiannon, Janis Siegel, Take 6, and Linda Tillery
  • TV appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show, Good Morning America, Evening Magazine, A & E, Sessions at Studio 54, The Tonight Show, and A Night at the Pops!, among others
  • Recordings with Jason Becker, John Calloway, Mickey Hart, Kenny Loggins, Rebeca Mauleon, Bobby McFerrin, SoVoSo, Holly Near, Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, and Rhiannon
  • Taught alongside Bobby McFerrin in his 2004, 2005, and 2007 summer residencies at the Omega Institute
  • Former faculty member of the Berkeley Jazz School in California
  • Served as contemporary vocal instructor at the College Prep School of Oakland, CA
  • Served as musical director at the Golden Gate Academy in Oakland, CA
  • Board member for the organization Young Performers International, San Francisco, CA, and the U.S. chapter of Musicians Without Borders
  • Works with One World Music, presenting teambuilding workshops through music


In Their Own Words

"I'm all about music and how it works with community—how community helps us, how we help each other. It's a very codependent thing to be an artist. So I tell my students to make use of this campus, which is a musicians' playground. They can make some great relationships, then catch up with each other later and help each other."

"In the instrumental vocal class which I developed, I teach the singer how to think as an instrumentalist, whether in performance or recording. We deal with how their instrument functions within the ensemble, based on the genre of music."

"It's easy to sing just your own style if you don't realize all the other things you can do with the voice. I introduce my students to other styles to give them a better knowledge of what defines those styles. How a bass player plays in a funk band and how he plays in a jazz band or a rock band—there are all these little subtleties of how the parts function and communicate with each other. Then I give my students room to find their own thing."

"People should be musicians because they are musicians, not because they want to learn how to be musicians. If you don't love what you do, you'll never be good enough at it to make any money. That's really what it's about. You have to do something because you love it—because that's just what you are. So it's important to discover for yourself what that thing is for you, whatever it is—something you're going to do whether or not you get paid for it."

"I consider myself successful if I help students discover something new about what they want or if a student tells me, 'I really found my voice with you.' The success for me is that they walk away with the joy of what they're doing and a strong sense of self—that they walk away owning who they are and knowing how to tap into their emotions in such a way that they can be real onstage or in whatever it is that they happen to do."