Grammy Award winning drummer, producer and bandleader Joe McCarthy has lead a diverse career which has taken him from Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, to Afro Cuban, Bebop and beyond. Joe is the leader/founder of Afro Bop Alliance, an Afro Cuban Jazz Ensemble based in the Washington DC area. The band's 2011 release, Una Mas, on OA2 records follows Afro Bop Alliance, released in conjunction with Dave Samuels and the Caribbean Jazz Project on Heads-Up International, winner of the 2008 Latin Grammy for Latin Jazz Album of the Year and nominated for the 51st Grammy Awards in the same category. The band’s 2 previous releases, Encarnacion and Camino Nuevo have received critical acclaim, worldwide.
Joe has performed and or recorded with: The Caribbean Jazz Project, Eddie Daniels, Slide Hampton, Pat LaBarbera, Wayne Bergeron, Linda Oh, Luis Perdomo, Antonio Hart, Poncho Sanchez, Dave Samuels, Arturo O'Farrill, Michael Mossman, Ray Vega, Jimmy Bruno, Michael Formanek, Mitch Seidman, Luques and Zaccai Curtis, Mundell Lowe, Alain Mallet, Christian Howes, Roberto Quintero, Boris Kozlov and Arturo Stables.
Joe is the Leader and Drummer for the United States Naval Academy Band's Jazz Ensemble, The Next Wave and Principal Percussionist of the USNA Band’s Wind Ensemble. The Next Wave has released their debut, Just Gettin' Started. Joe is also co-leader of the Vince Norman/Joe McCarthy Big Band with their 2007 release of “Words Cannot Express,” and 2010 release of "Bright Future" on OA2 Records.
Active in education, Joe is an Adjunct Professor of Drumset and Afro-Cuban Percussion Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC and George Mason University in Fairfax VA. Joe is in demand as a clinician throughout the US and abroad. He has written for Jazz Improv Magazine, Latin Percussion’s “All About Rhythm” and has contributed to the educational websites of Zildjian and Innovative Percussion. Joe’s Afro-Cuban Big Band Play-Along Book/CD and DVD of the same name are published by Alfred Music and have received rave reviews.