Joe Millea is currently a member of the Heartland Marimba Quartet and freelance percussionist and music educator in Phoenix, AZ. He was also a member of the Sugar and Carbs percussion duo which recently served as a panelist for the 2016 Phoenix Comi-con. In 2013 and 2014 Joe studied marimba performance at the Royal College of Music in London, England with Marimba One artist Daniella Ganeva. At the Royal College, a Leverhulme Postgraduate Studentship supported his doctoral research on tools and techniques for marimba composers. Previously, Joe served as a Faculty member at Sam Houston State University, Veritas Preparatory Academy, Collins College, and National American University teaching courses in applied percussion, drumline, percussion methods, music appreciation, digital audio, music theory, music history, music business, and music composition. From 2010 to 2013, Joe was the Principal Percussionist and Timpanist with the Scottsdale Arts Orchestra in Scottsdale, AZ, under the direction of Brett Robison. He was also a percussion instructor and arranger with the Arizona State University Sun Devil Marching Band and Director of Instrumental Music at La Casa de Cristo Church in Scottsdale, AZ.
Having performed in the United States, Europe, and Latin America, Joe enjoys an active performing career as a soloist and chamber musician. He has been a guest artist at the MN Percussion Association Day of Percussion, the International Percussion Seminar in Adria, Italy, the International Horn Symposium Southwest regional, Southern Utah University, Lamar University and the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy. As a chamber musician Joe has taken part in the Festival of Percussion Ensembles in San Jose, Costa Rica, the NonClassical: Pioneer of Percussion festival in London, England, the Minneapolis “Carifest” of Caribbean music and culture, and the Balance-Unbalance conference on climate and acoustic ecology in Tempe, Arizona. In 2016 he served as a performer and operations assistant for the Kohei Kondo festival in conjunction with Tandem Duo and Tempe center for the arts.
Joe has also performed with many chamber groups throughout the country including the Cinematic Pop Orchestra, The Phoenix Symphony, Mill Ave Chamber Players, Salt River Brass, Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra, Classical Revolution Phoenix, Struck Percussion Ensemble, MoTU Percussion Quartet. Solis Camerata, Phoenix Artlink, the Seven Corners Quartet, and the Phoenix Symphony B-Sharp Homeless Initiative.
Joe received his Bachelor's degree in Music Performance and Music Education from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Master's and D.M.A Degrees in Music Performance from Arizona State University. His primary teachers are Fernando Meza, J.B. Smith, Daniella Ganeva, Peter Kogan, Earl Yowell, Mark Sunkett, Simone Mancuso, Brian Duffy, Matt Kettlehut, Dom Moio and Phil Hey. Joe is an endorser of Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Black Swamp Percussion and Marimba One marimbas.