JOE Williamson

Guitarist and Composer

''Outstanding musicianship and breathtaking improvisation'' - Tommy Smith

​​Guitarist Joe Williamson hails from the North East of England, and recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with first-class honours. 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. This prestigious prize allowed Square One to record their debut album, 'In Motion', which was released in October 2016 along with a tour of the UK and Poland.

In May 2015, Joe toured with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, alongside Kurt Elling and Tommy Smith. 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 also performs in Graham Costello’s STRATA, performing progressive jazz-rock, exploring radical possibilities in rhythm, described as 'groovy yet cerebral' by BBC Radio Scotland.

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, 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.