In a recent interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC, legendary journalist Nat Hentoff stated, "The last piece I did for them [The Wall Street Journal] - I'm so glad I had a chance to do it - is about a 24 year old pianist and composer named Joe Alterman, who is really the personification of the past of jazz - he's really deep into that -, the present of jazz - he has his own voice - and that leads him into the future of jazz, and he's so important in terms of the validity of jazz...[Joe Alterman & one of his mentors, tenor saxophonist Houston Person] make recordings that - to use the phrase that Duke Ellington really had a chance to use - are 'beyond category' because they're timeless."
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Alterman moved to New York in the fall of 2007 to study music at New York University, where he earned both his Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees in Music. While there, he had the opportunity to study with greats including Don Friedman, Joe Lovano and John Scofield.
He has performed at venues around the world including the Blue Note Jazz Club in Milan, Blues Alley in Washington, DC, and Preservation Hall in New Orleans; he has led groups at venues in New York City including the Blue Note Jazz Club, the Iridium, the Kitano, 21 Club, Le Cirque, and Jazz at Lincoln Center's Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, among others.
Among many others, Alterman has performed with Les McCann, Houston Person, Tony Middleton and bassist James Cammack, with whom Alterman also works frequently with in a duo setting. In addition, he and his trio have performed multiple times at the Blue Note Jazz Club as an opening act for greats including Les McCann, Ramsey Lewis, Philip Bailey (of Earth, Wind & Fire), John Pizzarelli and Hiromi, among others.
Alterman’s most recent recording, Georgia Sunset, which was produced by Houston Person, garnered much critical praise and reached #6 on the JazzWeek radio charts.
Speaking about Alterman, legendary pianist Ramsey Lewis stated, "When listening to Joe Alterman perform, it is obvious that he has studied the history of jazz piano. However, his own style of playing is appealing, challenging and quite satisfying."