Joel Del Rosario

University of Memphis

Feature CD Of The Week: Joel Del Rosario's "Past, Present, Future"

For Release: June 5, 2016
Review by Malvin Massey, Jr., 6/5/2016

Feature CD of the Week

The Feature CD of the Week is from Smooth Jazz guitarist and producer Joel Del Rosario titled Past, Present, Future. This young artist from San Francisco has been making music from coast to coast and creating a buzz in the world of jazz.

His style has elements of straight ahead jazz, fused with R&B and hip hop rhythm and beats. Rosario has a deep passion for his guitar because he first picked it up to relieve the stress of losing his mother to breast cancer at age 11.

The guitar became more than just therapy to the artist, it became his link to the past. Rosario's playing style has been compared to George Benson and Norman Brown and is said to bring a young prospective to the "mellower" side of jazz.

This CD also includes some of his young jazz contemporizes like Ragan Whiteside and Melvin Miller on two of the tracks, which are all original on the disk. Listeners may be struck by the smooth transition from one tune to the next on this album, and will be excited that each tune stands on its own.

No monotonous repetition that "Jazz Lovers" can find so prevalent on the Smooth Jazz scene.

Smooth Jazz Daily (Europe)



Under the influences of George Benson, Earth Wind & Fire and Stan Getz guitarist Joel Del Rosario makes his fortune in the smooth jazz genre. All started with All Him (2005), followed by Calm In The Storm (2006),Coast To Coast (2011) and this year Past Present Future.

Guest musicians on his new album are flutist Ragan Whiteside and trumpet player Melvin Miller, who is the featured artist on the first tune Summer Song. Joel allows the summery airy melody to take flight on his guitar and Melvin adds his personal note on trumpet.

This Is How We Roll gives relaxing an acoustic facelift. The eclectic pulse comes from the flute and the guitar wraps it nicely. The title song has a Pat Metheny approach, a sign for great music. Technically proficient and sonically touching.

Delicious Vinyl evokes musical images of the past and Ragan Whiteside clarifies on flute that they are the better ones of the time. Sunrise On The Sunset gives the horns a place before Joel brings with easy finger style his guitar to the forefront.

Gettin It is not cocktail hour jazz. The melody is sometimes repetitive, but in between Joel lets his guitar flow. On The City Joel is really stretching out with a rocky attitude. A stellar way to step aside the smooth jazz genre.  

Coastside is an organic return to smooth jazz flavored guitar music designed for a ride along the coast line. Something for your sweetheart? Kates Lullaby offers a rich ambient sound with great emotional impact. Delicious Vinyl Outro is a variation of Delicious Vinyl. Try to find the difference.

For those, who likes the sound of Joel Del Rosario's guitar, Past Present Future accurately sums up Joel's skills as state of the art guitarist and composer. Joel's talent continues to grow and I am his follower. 


Indie Music Network





Joel Del Rosario returns in 2016 with his 3rd solo project entitled Past Present Future. Joel Del Rosario is the new breed of jazz musicians who's music has elements of soul,funk,& even classical styles which gives it diversity. A distinction in which Joel is known for.

Joel's story is a fascinating one to say the least.He experienced tragedy at a very young age losing his mother to Breast cancer.Joel used music as his vehicle to help him get through this by spending much of his time practicing his guitar & developing into a great musician.He later received The Stan Getz Scholarship attended Stanford University to further his career. 

Past Present Future certainly has flavor to it & it's an outstanding album.There are several tracks on this album that has the potential to climb very high in the charts.Delicious Vinyl his duet with Ragan Whiteside is the stand out track of Past Present Future,This Is How We Roll, the smooth grooves Coastside & Past Present Future Sunrise On the Sunset,Summer Song, & Gettin' It .Past Present Future is available in all digital retail outlets & it's highly recommended for all jazz lovers.

Smooth Jazz Therapy (UK)

Joel Del Rosario - Past Present Future

Past present future

I was initially signposted to Joel Del Rosario’s ‘Past Present Future’ by the single ‘Delicious Vinyl’, the title of which tells you all you need to know about the old school sensibilities of this groove drenched charmer. It includes some great work on flute from Ragan Whiteside and, after having checked out the entire CD, I can report it is totally representative of the cool vibe that Del Rosario seems able to generate at will. Of course he is no stranger to these pages having caught the eye back in 2013 with ‘Side By Side’, his collaboration with Surewill that garnered the chilled out ‘Mon Frere’ and here, with ‘Past Present Future’, he is confirming his status as a rising smooth jazz star with talent to burn.

Take for example the opening ‘Summer Song’ that is embellished by the trumpet of the Atlanta based Melvin Miller or the easy paced title cut that gets on a velvety roll and stays there. Both are exactly the sort of tracks that contemporary jazz circa 2016 should be all about and although ‘This Is How We Roll’ proves to be an understated but entirely addictive gem it is the wonderfully mid tempo ‘Sunrise On The Sunset’ that shimmers with a delicious brass veneer.

By and large Joel keeps it smooth throughout but cuts loose a little with ‘The City’ that shows off a different side to his musical persona. However, he is quickly back on smooth jazz message with ‘Gettin It’ which is another thoughtful yet compelling number.

‘Kate’s Lullaby’ (named after his daughter) is not only as dreamy as you would expect it to be but also (with ‘Delicious Vinyl’) a contender for the album’s best tune. In fact Joel closes out the collection with a sensational ‘outro’ version of ‘Delicious Vinyl’ yet in terms of personal favorites the superb ‘Coastside’ is extremely hard to beat. With a mood that just keeps on building, a smattering of synthesized strings and Del Rosario’s tight playing this is one seriously good track.

Highly recommended.

(Translated from Dutch)

All three times I was here CDs from the American guitarist / songwriter Joel Del Rosario proposed. He combines jazz with R & B, classical and hip hop, and that earned him the 2012 title "Guitarist of the Year" by Coffee Talk Jazz Radio in. His passion for the guitar came from losing his mother to cancer. He sought solace in the instrument and got the Stan Getz Jazz Scholarship to study at the Stanford University Jazz camp. Joel is often compared to George Benson and Norman Brown, so he's in good company. Joel has traveled from coast to coast in the US, to to act. Now his latest project arrived here and it opens with "summer Song," a mid-tempo track that makes you long for summer, when trumpeter Melvin Miller is a guest. "this is how We Roll 'has a catchy rhythm, and the title track oproet a relaxed atmosphere. the single 'Delicious Vinyl' is flutist Ragan Whiteside of service. It is a cheerful song that will surely catch the hit parade. "Sunrise on the Sunset 'sounds so relaxed that I backward lean and that goes for 'Gettin it'. Surprising is the bluesy rock song 'The City', less my taste. "Coastside 'is again smooth, followed by the lullaby" Kate's Lullaby'. And with the up-tempo "Delicious Vinyl Outro" Joel concludes. He brings a very nice album and certainly not disappoint here. I would say "I want more!"

Patrick Van de Wiele (4)
Joel brings an interesting album, and does not disappoint! I want to say "I want more"

The Smooth Jazz Ride

Joel Del Rosario – Past Present Future


Apr. 17, 2016

One of the smoothest guitarists on the West coast – and anywhere else, for that matter – is the affable Joel Del Rosario. I’ve been exposed to enough of this extremely talented guitar master’s work that I’ve been looking forward to this latest release since his 2013 offering with his musical cohort Will “SureWill” Clark on a very tasteful project called Side By Side. Del Rosario’s latest solo effortPast Present Future shows once again that my faith and trust in this solidly talented artist’s creativity and silky style has been well placed.

This album has much to offer by way of moods, rhythms, and feels as Del Rosario opens with a handsome mid-tempo track, “Summer Song” featuring trumpeter Melvin Miller, a great horn arrangement, and a full-bodied, steady bass line that holds it all together. By the way, Del Rosario plays all instruments on the album except for the instruments played by Ragan Whiteside (flute), Miller, and Tony Rhodes (Hammond B3).

He follows “Summer Song” with the snappy and sassy “This is How We Roll,” a track with a very catchy melody and cool riffs. The title track, again with some solid bass support (nothing overly flashy; just good, phat, solid bottom), is another keeper.

Picking up the tempo a bit is the dance-friendly “Delicious Vinyl” featuring flutist Ragan Whiteside, a well-positioned strings and horn voicing, and Del Rosario’s nifty riffs and chords.

The track that caught me completely off-guard is a nasty, raunchy mid-tempo bluesy rocker called “The City.” Here is Del Rosario truly feeling like the “bad boy” and getting dirty with distortion and some extremely impressive and expressive power chords and riffs. Hold on to your seat as he does a decent job of blowing one away here.

This is truly a complete album – complete in every way. You simply can’t go wrong with skillful playing of any instrument and imagination. Del Rosario makes that plain here on Past Present Future. – Ronald Jackson

Jazz Moods Radio

For his new CD entitled Past-Present-Future" guitarist Joel del Rosario is bringing the party life to you on the first single "Delcious Vinyl". An uptempo groove that has elements of vintage soul music mixed with rousing modern jazz melodies, "Delicious Vinyl" is a morsel of musical goodness that is charted for great success.

Holding on to the sacred elements of straight ahead Jazz, but fusing them with R&B, Classical, and Hip-Hop, guitarist/producer Joel Del Rosario's music exudes the diversity of San Francisco's cosmopolitan culture.

Jazz Amazing Radios

Joel Del Rosario Connects Us All With Past Present Future

Joel Del Rosario brings excitement to his fans with the release of the album Past Present Future. This is a new success for this outgoing artist, and a refreshment for the jazz scene. The album has 10 songs, in wich Rosario was accompanied by billboard charting artist, Ragan Whiteside and horn player Melvin Miller.

The title represents the whole album. Past Present Future, is a album made in honor of the past musicians, but also a chance to connect the past with the new future listeners. We can say that there is so much love and attention invested in it. This is a a album for all generations and music lovers. Just like Joel explained in our interview before


"The process in making my music involves listening to old records very carefully so that I incorporate the ‘essence’ of the past with respect. When tracking, I make these sounds and interpretations my own while making it current and palatable to our younger listeners."

Joel Del Rosario is famous for the mix he makes from different genre, elements of straight ahead Jazz, but fusing them with R&B, Classical, and Hip-Hop. One of the songs that left us speechless is “Delicious Vinyl“, a song with slight of vintage soul mixed with rousing modern jazz melodies. Also the smooth and sassy “Summer Song” feat Melvin Miller, will be a perfect choice for you ti listen in the hot summer days. If you are searching for an album, to remind you of the good old days, but also you want to hear something new, Past Present Future is the album for you, go for it. 

Milena Staniskovska

Smooth Jazz Therapy

With a music career now spanning over two decades, guitarist and songwriter, Joel Del Rosario has just about touched every genre of music. From classical to jazz, from hip hop to southern gospel Del Rosario has done it all and first came to my attention back in 2012 with a gem of a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist, writer and producer Surewill.

Joel has just released the single ‘Delicious Vinyl’ the title of which tells you all you need to know about the old school sensibilities of this groove drenched charmer.

Look out also for some great work on flute from Ragan Whiteside.

Excellent track.

Smooth Jazz Therapy (UK)


With a music career now spanning over two decades, guitarist and songwriter, Joel Del Rosario (aka JDR) has just about touched every musical style.  From classical to jazz, from hip hop to southern gospel Del Rosario has done it all and now, in partnership with multi-instrumentalist, writer and producer Will ‘Surewill’ Clark, he has slipped effortlessly into a contemporary jazz groove.  Not that JDR is totally new to the genre.  His 2011 CD ‘Coast To Coast’ was right on the smooth jazz money and this latest project, the wonderful ‘Side By Side’, very much picks up where that left off.

Take for example the decidedly chilled ‘Keepin’ It Moving’ that tells you everything you need to know about the synergy that fizzes between these two accomplished musicians.  Elsewhere a thumping bass line and snippets of cool muted trumpet from Sam Hankins are key components of the mid tempo ‘Miles Away’ and although ‘Buffalo All Stars’ is characterized by a languid beat plus flashes of Hammond B3 its ‘The Walk’, which swaggers with the hint of a steppers beat. 

In terms of personal favorites the sunny disposition of the zesty title cut is right up there but, truth to tell, it’s when JDR and Surewill take a more mellow path that magic starts to happen.  Both the splendid ‘Just Chords’ and ‘George’ are cases in point.  They are in the good company of the delightfully atmospheric ‘Mon Frere’ and the equally so ‘Washington Square’ which as well as being chilled out guitar driven masterpieces are superb showcases for the talents of JDR and Surewill.  Yet, all things considered, my Smooth Jazz Therapy top track is ‘Cali-Sol’.  With excellent featured sax from Tony Exum Jr., a vibe to die for and more great work on guitar from Del Rosario this one could be a late contender for my top twenty of 2013.

The Smooth Jazz Ride


Two years after laying it on us with Coast to Coast, guitarist Joel Del Rosario joins forces with his good friend Surewill who delighted us with his own 2010 release called Out of the Shadows. Together, they’ve put together a project called Side By Side, a reference to their longstanding friendship, and it takes off on its own wings right from the start.

Combining the sweetness of Del Rosario’s chords and runs, the equally competent piano chops from Surewill, and great melodies, the album has no place to go but up and, no doubt,  its ascent has already started.

These two make the phrase “making great music together” as literal as can be. The time they have spent as close friends actually dates back to before their mutual respect for one another’s music, and with a strong foundation like that, this album couldn’t have come at a better time. Suave, charismatic, well-composed, arranged, and phrased, it’s the consummate demonstration of what a couple of really talented artists can do with each other’s musical ideas.  Chemistry. You can’t overstate it.

Opening with an obvious nod to the one and only late Miles Davis, the pair bring in trumpeter Sam Hankins to accentuate the cool that was and always will be Miles. From that point on, there are countless colorful tunes painting a bright collage of sound.  Count among them the smoothly jammin’ title track, the powerful mid-tempo infectious “The Walk,” the very melodic and sweetly swaying “Just Chords” highlighting the top-shelf keys skills of Surewill as well as the adept playing of Del Rosario, the slick and silky “Mon Frere,”  and every track all the way to the finger-poppin’ finale “Keep It Moving.” All of these and more only serve to clearly indicate that these guys as true professionals who not only love what they do but need what they do because the drive to express is so transparent.

For sure, this is a perfect paring. The result is a wonderful album that speaks volumes about what went into its making. Two thumbs up. – Ronald Jackson 

The Smooth Jazz Ride

Blues Alley
Washington, DC
July 5, 2012, 10:00 pm

If you’re in the market for good, solid live contemporary jazz entertainment, you would have certainly enjoyed yourself thoroughly at the DC hotspot Blues Alley in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC. Tonight, we were treated to the wonderfully talented yet still surprisingly unheralded California guitarist Joel del Rosario and the personable keyboardist Will (“Surewill”) Clark. What a great groove to witness on the day after the 4th of July!

Helping the duo with this powerful set was local saxman Brian Lenair who never disappoints with his passion and energy.

The set opened with thunder as each artist set out to offer tracks from their latest projects, Surewill’s debut release Out of the Shadows and del Rosario’s Coast to Coast album. From the outset, the audience was wired and totally engaged.

A great high point of the show was Surewill’s tribute to his uncle Jim for whom he titled a track  –”My Hero (Uncle Jim)” – on his debut album. The track was snappy and electric, with very pronounced chops being provided by del Rosario and Lenair.

More goodies followed as del Rosario ripped into the tight, and surefooted “Seattle” and “Hey It’s the Weekend,” interacting beautifully with the audience who, by this time, was absolutely beside itself in grooveland and solidly riveted to the set.

Saxman Lenair was given his moment as he lit into the rockin’ “I Like the Way You Move.”

Bassist Buddy Jordan and drummer Sam Marshall were each allowed to shine as well, and shine they did, providing the audience with some memorable moments indeed.

The finale, a cover of the late crooner Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Hoiller)” was compelling and alive.

Blues Alley does a great job of booking appealing acts, even some who may not be as familiar to some as to others. Tonight, if there were people who were unfamiliar with Surewill and del Rosario, they left with a full sense of who these two are who may seem to have flown under the radar before. Each tune, each solo was sheer pleasure. Del Rosario, a humble, nimble-fingered artist gave much of the credit for his crisp and distinct sound to his equipment and sound system. Personally, I think it was more of the del Rosario finesse and skill than anything else.

Both of these artists proved to me a while back that they are more than competent – they aregroove-ready. Their laid-back stage presence and the fact the entire band appeared to interact so well was a result of simply having big fun doing what they so love best. That certainly came across in an easy message to the audience. Satisfying? Totally without a doubt, and I—like I’m sure so many others there—will surely return to see them whenever they grace this area again. – Ronald Jackson


Recently I reviewed two guitar players working on what I like to call the smoother side of jazz and both releases made me long for the relief that death would bring.  Joel Del Rosario makes me long for his next release!  There is a common misconception that I do not like much if anything to do with the smoother side of jazz.  Wrong.  I am incredibly annoyed with the pretentious latte-driven "vibe" associated with the smoother side of jazz because "vibe" in this context is not real it is manufactured. The vibe that is associated with the smoother side of jazz is fake, phony and incredibly pretentious and time and space prohibits me from listing the numerous artists who have made a very nice living essentially recording the same release multiple times and then hitting the road to sell the vibe of what passes for nothing more than sonic sedation. No originality. No creativity. No musical vision. Which brings me to Joel Del Rosario and "Coast to Coast."
Joel Del Rosario is an incredibly gifted guitarist and song writer who brings "flavor" to this highly entertaining release. Flavor of originality, creativity and musical vision in this context is real. You can listen and literally feel the flavor as it bleeds from your speakers and into your soul. The "flavor" I speak of is a part of Joel Del Rosario's DNA and this my friends is the difference between an artist and an artistic businessman.

In terms of originality you need not look any further than the blues smoker "They that wait." Mixing musical flavors throughout keeps "Coast to Coast" fresh! A musical frame of reference may be a cross between George Benson and Kenny Burrell but with a nice subtle musical bite in presentation.

Joel Del Rosario gravitated toward the guitar after the passing of his mother when he was 11. As a proud "mama's boy" myself an instantaneous musical connection was made for me. Del Rosario does far more than just play the notes, he is the music! Fierce, funky and fun - "Coast to Coast" is a winner from start to finish!

Buy or Sell?
Artistically gifted and technically proficient Joel Del Rosario's musical stock is an arrow pointing straight up!

Are you serious?

Occasionally, a musical gem will escape my roving eye. Such was the case with guitarist Joel del Rosario who has just released his third album, Coast to Coast, and has actually been in this biz for over two decades. Two decades! At any rate, someone planted a bug in my ear about this talented artist, and I had to pursue him and his latest project to see what all the noise was about him in certain circles. Well, I quickly found out after I popped in this cool, very well-done CD of real contemporary jazz guitar.

Del Rosario, who wrote and produced all but two tracks here, has one of the clearest, smoothest sounds and works a chord to perfection. From the lead track, “Hey It’s The Weekend,” I sensed I was truly on to something with presence and a life here.  The track bounced with attitude and confidence and, had I not read it in his bio, would have tipped me off that this was no debut release for this cat.

Navigating his way through sassy, funky cuts like the title track and the very spiritually uplifting (yes, and very funky) “God Is Able,” this nimble-fingered guitarist who seems to fancy the Ibanez Artstar sound is consistent and determined to constantly drive home his cool groove and message that he’s one with whom to seriously reckon. He also has a crackerjack knack for the blues, as shown on his scorching performance on “They That Wait.”

Yes, just crack the door,, and del Rosario obviously will take it from there. Each tune brings a uniqueness about it. Nothing sounds like something else on the album. I like that…a lot. Diversity, fluidity, creativity, and style…not to mention a very effective sound. He may have slipped by me in the past, but Coast to Coast places him clearly in my sights now, and, if this is your first introduction to him, I’m sure you’ll feel the same. – Ronald Jackson

Lynn Valley Jazz (Victoria BC)

"jDR, one of the hottest artists has actually been around for a while and his new release has been climbing the jazz and contemporary jazz music charts"

“There’s no doubt in my heart Joel that you know how to bring entertaining smooth jazz. The melodies flow fluid like and crystal clear out of your guitar. Keep up this good work!”


Guitarist and Songwriter Joel Del Rosario first trained in Viola. Joel studied, performed, and was second chair in the San Francisco School of the Arts Orchestra. But jazz was his real passion. So he soon chose the guitar as his favorite instrument. Robyn Kazmarcyk and later Elroy Jones were his mentors. He also attended the prestigious Stanford University Jazz camp during high school.

Joel has just released his third album Coast To Coast after his previous albums All Him and Calm In the Storm. All tracks were self written & arranged by Joel with the exception of  God Is Able, written by Don Moen & sung by Ron Kenoly and his choir. All the guitars, bass, keyboards, and sequencing were done by Joel. A genuine self-produced album.

Hey It's the Weekend is like Saturday Night Fever meets Smooth Jazz. While Joel performs some sultry guitar loops, rhythm and strings bring back some disco feeling. Music for your good time.

Coast to Coast continues the positive spirit and mood. Joel describes his themes with quick guitar riffs and his crystal clear guitar sound is enthusing his audience. Seattle is Joel's tribute to the vibrant city in the Pacific Northwest and the state of Washington. This outstanding well-arranged song is the first highlight of the album.

Joel reveals his Christian heritage with the spiritual track God is Able. Latin music and Gospel melts into a mesmerizing uplifting piece. Joel sampled Ron Kenoly's choir but totally re-arranged the song. The mid-tempo Get You in the Groove brings more sunshine in your life.

Joel has an undisputable feeling for great compositions as he illustrates with One Way Street Remix with crisp guitar chords. The romantic Midtown features Joel's friend and sax player Melecio Magdaluyo, who is currently the jazz instructor at the School of the Arts San Francisco, where Joel went to school.  He has played with Pete Escovedo, Bobby Brown, and many artists including Wayne Wallace.

They that Wait is Joel's short excursion into the Blues genre. Another good opportunity to give us a taste of his multi-faceted talent. Listening to Always Faithful I recall with greatest respect that Joel performs all instruments on his album in a impressive perfection. His sense for immaculate melodies is unsurpassable. Final piece of this album is the intoxicating Been Good to Me. Joel follows the melody with different styles always keeping this smooth ballad in balance.

With George-Benson-like fluidity Joel Del Rosario rivals on his new album Coast To Coast every proficient smooth jazz guitarist.


Jazzin Em Up
Joel’s music is truly a gift from heaven. His powerful compositions coupled with his extraordinary playing ability sets his listeners up for an emotionally spiritual experience they will never forget. Yes folks, he goes there. His new CD Coast to Coast is sure to rock your world.
His previous CDs, All Him, and Calming the Storm, are still enjoyed by audiences all over the world. And, Coast to Coast is gaining full momentum in becoming another great hit for this musical genus from San Diego.
So, jump on board, and let Joel take you on a deep soulful journey with tunes such as Been Good to Me, Hey It's the Weekend, and of course his title song Coast to Coast. 

Joel’s music is truly a gift from heaven. His powerful compositions coupled with his extraordinary playing ability sets his listeners up for an emotionally spiritual experience they will never forget. Yes folks, he goes there. His new CD Coast to Coast is sure to rock your world.

His previous CDs, All Him, and Calming the Storm, are still enjoyed by audiences all over the world. And, "Coast to Coast" is gaining full momentum in becoming another great hit for this musical genius from San Francisco.

So, jump on board, and let Joel take you on a deep soulful journey with tunes such as "Been Good to Me", "Hey It's the Weekend", and of course his title song "Coast to Coast". 

Jazzin Em Up - Cres O'Neal


One wonders if the Katrina disaster had anything to do with the inspiration behind this album; after all, the title can be interpreted as such, right? Joel Del Rosario certainly has the right smooth-jazz grooves to comfort the distressed. His clean, polished guitar playing is in itself a force of nature. He is a fluid musician, his fingers having mastery over not only the guitar but the bass as well. Just check out his pulsating work on the propulsive "Back in the Day." There are reflective pieces on here like "One Way Street" and "355 Ocean," both of which conjure images of a rainy night on the town. Based in San Francisco, Del Rosario certainly has that Bay Area flavor. This is not Los Angeles smooth jazz with its sunny textures. Del Rosario's compositions are more dynamic, alive, and eclectic. On "Her Favorite" and "Padre Burgos," Del Rosario introduces a spicy Latin beat to his music, generating enough electricity to light up the neighborhood. Guest vocalist George Hunter lends a hand to "LJP (Love, Joy, Peace)," but for the most part this is Del Rosario's show. And from beginning to end he has us in the palm of his hand.

Imagine something that's tranquil and soothing, yet also contains some very cool vibes with a layer or two of spice tossed in the mix. This is what you get with the new CD from Joel Del Rosario aptly titled Calm In The Storm. Del Rosario ambitiously composed, arranged and produced all of the songs on this CD and plays guitars, bass and keyboards as well. That's a lot of hats to wear and they're all worn extremely well. This CD features ten tracks all of which offer a delicious mix of Del Rosario’s classical training as well as his influences from such artists as Earth Wind & Fire, George Benson and Stan Getz. If we were talking apples here, there isn’t a bad one in the bunch. On “One Way Street,” Del Rosario’s beautiful classical guitar licks contrasts and yet blends superbly with the funkier “Express.” And the fun and funky “Back In The Day,” showing Del Rosario’s influence with Earth Wind & Fire, is simply delightful as well. “LJP (Love, Joy, Peace)” and “LJP Interlude” features the smooth vocals of George Hunter and along with Del Rosario’s sensual guitar create an air of harmony and tenderness. The title track, “Calm In The Storm” is an excellent example of Del Rosario’s mastery of the guitar and effectively shows us his spiritual side, which inspires him to make this beautiful music. These songs together with the rest of the tracks on this CD all blend together seamlessly to produce some exceptional smooth jazz music. And with Del Rosario’s spiritual beliefs, Calm In The Storm is sure to sooth the soul, lift the spirit and inspire all who listen.

Whisperin & Hollerin (UK)

From the album title and the soothing textures of his compositions and playing, the goal of Joel Del Rosario ( is to lift up the listener, bring light into the chaos of a troubled world. Trying to accomplish that without words is no easy task; when notes take the place of lyrics, they have to be able to communicate those messages to the brain. Thankfully, Del Rosario succeeds; this is a relatively upbeat, emotionally engaging album. Del Rosario is no cookie-cutter smooth jazz artist. He plays with a variety of tempos and styles, from the acoustic warmth and playful keyboards of "One Way Street" to the Latin mix on "Padre Burgos" to the classic soul vibes of "True Love Waits." Del Rosario is responsible for all the guitar, bass, and keyboards on the LP yet the album doesn't have the minimalist feel of a one-man band. On "Back in the Day," Rosario's snappy bass lines and spine-tingling guitar riffs blend together with seemlessly. Vocalist George Hunter makes a surprise appearance on "LJP (Love, Joy, Peace)" and its later interlude; the pair work together well as Hunter delivers a heartfelt performance that fits within Del Rosario's evocative instrumentation. There are a number of tunes here that would be perfect for soundtracks, such as "Express," which vividly captures the heart of a busy city.


Joel Del Rosario has composed, arranged and produced all songs on his new album. Calm In The Storm is an awesome example for his talent to write attractive songs and call them into being. Joe's music grows at small places in moody hours.

eJazzNews Press Release

Hot licks and cool vibes come together in an all original collection by Joel Del Rosario entitled Calm in the Storm. Smooth jazz and hope collide into a beautiful set of melodies. “I hope Calm in the Storm will encourage people of all ages to believe in miracles and move forward in the midst of their storms,” said Del Rosario. Although Joel Del Rosario was classically trained on the viola, his influences were George Benson, Earth Wind & Fire and Stan Getz. Del Rosario studied guitar under Elroy Jones (mentor of Stanley Jordan). He has played for over 20 years on the west coast as both a studio musician and performer.

Classically trained on the viola as a child, Joel Del Rosario was surrounded by music at an early age. From the soulful sounds of the Stylistics to the jazzy guitar work of George Benson heard on the family stereo, music pervaded every facet of Joel's life. And, when Joel's mother died of breast cancer, he poured his whole being into the guitar for solace. Tormented by the loss of his mother, Joel ran away from home at 17, living out of a suitcase and working several jobs to put himself through college in Los Angeles. Though difficult, the mid-90s brought about music related opportunities to Joel which included an internship at Motown Records and his first opportunity in co-writing/arranging music for a small recording label. During this time he also played guitar/bass for an R&B band which he also helped produce music for. He also studied under the tutelage of Elroy Jones who mentored Stanley Jordan, the Grammy nominated jazz guitarist. Joel is currently active in his community raising funds for cancer awareness and volunteering with teens as a counselor. He in addition is very active as the band leader for his local church. With his current release "Calm in the Storm", smooth jazz and hope collide into a beautiful set of melodies. As the "Jazz Review" proclaimed, "...Calm in the Storm is sure to soothe the soul, lift the spirit and inspire all who listen.

Keys & Chords (Belgium)

Multi-instrumentalist Joel Del Rosario kreeg een klassieke opleiding op viool, en groeide op terwijl hij luisterde naar George Benson, Earth, Wind & Fire en Stan Getz. Hij incorporeert een breed spectrum aan invloeden in zijn instrumentale muziek. Hij bespeelt gitaar, keyboards en bas, en schreef alle songs zelf. Verder voorzag hij de songs van arrangementen en produceerde hij ze. Zijn sterk spiritueel geloof blijft hem inspireren met positieve muziek met een boodschap. Op deze cd volgt hij het pad waar smooth jazz en hoop samenkomen om mensen van alle leeftijden aan te moedigen in mirakels te geloven, en in het midden van de storm die woedt, door te gaan. De muziek hierop werkt ontspannend zodat ze zou gebruikt worden om kinderen voor het slapengaan te kalmeren. Nochtans is ze niet eentonig, maar zeer melodieus en soms zelfs up-tempo. Op ‘LJP (Love, Joy, Passion)’ en ‘LJP Interlude’ hoor je zanger George Hunter. Indien u houdt van een sterke mix van genres, variërend van bossa nova, over Motown en R&B, tot smooth jazz, wel dan is Joel’s schijfje iets voor u. Er staan eigenlijk geen slechte nummers op.


Jaren lang heeft multi-instrumentalist Joel Del Rosario begeleidingsrollen gespeeld, maar nu heeft Joel eindelijk de tijd gevonden om een soloplaat op te nemen. Door zijn uitstekende contacten in de jazzwereld, dachten we te kunnen rekenen op een indrukwekkende lijst van begeleiders, maar neen, op zijn bijna instrumentaal album speelt hij gitaar, keyboards en bas alleen. Enkel in de songs "LJP (Love, Joy, Peace)" en "LJP Interlude" hoor je zanger George Hunter. De plaat begint met de akoestische warmte en speellustige keyboards in "One Way Street", over het Latin-achtige "Padre Burgos" tot klassieke soul vibes in het afsluitende "True Love Waits". Na zijn debuut "All Him" (2003) is "Calm In The Storm", meer dan een waardige opvolger, met name wanneer zijn roots en invloeden, zoals George Benson, Earth Wind & Fire en Stan Getz naar voren komen is het genieten. Over het vakmanschap van deze muzikant hoeven we het verder niet te hebben, want Joel Del Rosario is waarschijnlijk een van de beste gitaristen die er zijn. Technisch vlekkeloos en altijd smaakvol, is hij een gewild sessie-muzikant, en met het zonnetje dat er langzamerhand weer door komt, en met een wijntje in de hand en "Calm In The Storm", op de achtergrond wordt het goed toeven naast de open haard, want op deze cd zijn er zat aan hoogtepunten en schitterende nummers waar de vonken van afspringen. "Back in the Day" is meteen een hoogtepunt, maar ook de rest van dit instrumentale album laat een geïnspireerd gitarist horen die met zijn tweede release aan een nieuw hoofdstuk in zijn carrière is begonnen. Waar wacht je nog op?