Guitarist and Composer
''Outstanding musicianship and breathtaking improvisation'' - Tommy Smith
Guitarist Joe Williamson is one of the most active members of Glasgow's vibrant jazz scene. Joe is a versatile musician, well-versed in the jazz tradition, but also drawing on influences from all kinds of contemporary guitar music. Known for his melodic and creative improvising, Joe performs regularly across the Scottish jazz circuit and was nominated for 'Rising Star' at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2017.
Joe is a founding member of award-winning quartet Square One, known for their free-spirited original music and energised live performances. In December 2015, Square One became the proud recipients of the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, which funded their debut album 'In Motion', released in October 2016 along with an international tour. In 2018, Square One collaborated with veteran US saxophonist Andy Middleton on a tour of Scotland, and recorded an album which will be released in the autumn.
He hosts a monthly residency in Glasgow with Spark Trio, featuring organist Paul Harrison and drummer Stephen Henderson, joined by distinguished guest musicians from across the Scottish jazz scene. Joe performs with many of Scotland's finest jazz artists, as a member of Graham Costello’s STRATA, and has performed with upcoming jazz singer-songwriter Georgia Cecile and toured with Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.
Joe is a prolific composer, writing much of the music for Square One, as well as pieces for larger ensembles that have been performed live on BBC Radio Scotland, and featured in the Royal Conservatoire's festival of original music. In 2016, he was commissioned by the Glasgow Jazz Festival to write a new piece celebrating the festival's 30th anniversary, and was featured in the festival's '30 under 30' showcase. Upon graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2016, Joe was awarded the Joe Temperley Prize for Jazz Arranging. In January 2017, he was a finalist in the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year competition.