Meet Joseph—Jazz Musician and Resident of The Lillian Booth Actors Home | Actors Fund

Meet Joseph—Jazz Musician and Resident of The Lillian Booth Actors Home

March 10, 2014 | Client Stories

Jazz Musician and Composer Joseph Jarman

Joseph has seven saxophones of different sizes, as well as a flute, clarinet and bassoon. “I’m very fortunate I had the opportunity to play every instrument.”

Plays on more than 40 albums, including many with the legendary avant-garde jazz group the Art Ensemble of Chicago (AECO). (Joseph is playing the flute in costume in the photo below.)

Vietnam Veteran:
While recovering after being wounded in the war, he learned blues and jazz and joined the 11th Airborne Army Band. When his service was over, he helped found the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

Influences for Art Ensemble of Chicago:
“We traveled around the world—that’s what inspired us to do music—because everywhere we went there was a music style. So we would play our style, and then play their style. That was always a wonderful experience. It was like having a dialogue with music.”

He’s played:
“Wonderful music. A lot of music that I wrote, and a lot of music that people I know wrote.”

Favorite city:
“Paris, France… They did love jazz—they still love it.” Joseph moved to Paris with AECO in 1969, and played there with the group for several years.

On his Aikido in Brooklyn:
In 1990 he became a Buddhist Priest, and is a Godan (fifth degree black belt) Aikido instructor. He founded the Jikishinkan Aikido Dojo and Brooklyn Buddhist Association. “A matter of fact, now, in Brooklyn, they have three new Aikido schools run by people who worked with me when I had my school.”

Joseph is part of a very special community of unique individuals who reside at The Actors Fund's Lillian Booth Actors Home. The Home is the jewel in The Fund’s housing crown and a recipient of U.S. News and World Report’s coveted “Best Nursing Homes in America” award, bestowed on the best 2,700 of the 17,000 facilities nationwide. Our 124 residents represent a diverse cross-selection of the entertainment industry—from stagehands to writers to producers and, of course, dancers and actors, too. Nearly every entertainment union is represented under one roof in Englewood, New Jersey.

This interview originally appeared in Marquee, the official newsletter of The Actors Fund. Join The Fund today! Not only will you receive your own copy of Marquee twice yearly, plus all the benefits of membership, you'll also play an important role in helping everyone in our creative community in times of need, crisis or transition and continue The Actors Fund tradition of caring for our own in entertainment.

Top photo: Joann Coates