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OFOAM Archives

The Joe McQueen Quartet

Sunday 1:30pm

Recipient of OFOAM's Don Baker Award in 2014 and permanent fixture at the Ogden Valley Roots and Blues Festival, Joe McQueen is a legend among Jazz enthusiasts and the Ogden crowd.

Making his way through Ogden in 1945 he was stranded and has pretty much stuck around ever since. Unpretentious and honest in his musicmanship, Joe plays from the heart and strives to share his soul through the wail of his saxophone. In 2002, Utah Governor Mike Leavitt declared April 18th to be Joe McQueen Day. Over the past 13 years, this date has been marked with many concerts, celebrations and events. McQueen is also the subject of the 2005 documentary film "King of O-Town"

During his life, McQueen has performed in Ogden with jazz luminaries such as Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Paul Gonsalves, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and others. McQueen has toured as a musician in the Rocky Mountain West. He played in 1962 in Idaho Falls, Idaho with Hoagy Carmichael.

During his early years in Ogden, McQueen worked and played at the Porters and Waiters Club in Ogden. This was one of the few venues open to black Americans at the time. McQueen was the first African-American in Utah to play at previously white-only establishments and to have a mixed-race band.

At the age of 97, McQueen continues to perform live in clubs from Ogden to Salt Lake with his quartet of talented musicians (Don Keipp on drums, Brad Wright on guitar and Ryan Conger on Hammond organ). The group released "The Legendary Joe McQueen Quartet" at the end of 2014, available on CD and Vinyl.

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