Joe Hopkins

Joe Hopkins- Clarinet
Joe has been playing jazz clarinet since the 9th grade .  He played with many groups in the Fort Worth , Dallas area where he grew up.  He had his own jazz band while at Reed College in Portland. He joined IBM in 1962 and retired in 1993. He continued to play while employed by IBM. He worked with the Churchill Street Jazz Band in Northern California for ten years (1980's) and played most of the Jazz Festivals on the west coast. After moving to Arizona in 1990 he immediately began to play jazz in the Phoenix area. He was a member of the Desert City Six for 13 years. In the last 10 years he has also played with the Off the Wall Over the Hill Gang, Dr. Sasparilla and his Red Hot Jazz Band, Cat's n' Jammers, Cell Block Seven from Lodi, California and the BoonDockers from Northern California. He currently leads three bands of his own: The Joe Hopkins Quartet  and the 52nd Street Jazz Band which plays Chicago/New York Style Jazz ala Eddie Condon groups. In addition Joe leads the Moldy Fig Jazz Band which plays authentic New Orleans style Dixieland.  Joe is currently Director on the board of the American Federation of Jazz Societies and a member of the American Federation of Musicians, local 586 in addition to being the Vice-President and musical director of the AZ Classic Jazz Society

(480) 396-6798  Cell Phone: 602-810-5888   Email:  

         You are visitor number:Hit Counter

Photo Gallery
Jazz Links

The 52nd Street Jazz Band, based in Phoenix, Arizona, plays "Chicago Style" jazz which is often applied to the sound of Chicagoans as Eddie Condon, Muggsy Spanier and Bud Freeman. The rhythm sections of these bands substitute the string bass for the tuba and the guitar for the banjo. Musically we play in more of a swing-style, 4-to-the-bar manner rather than the 2-beat style of many traditional dixieland bands. The New Orleans preference for the ensemble sound is deemphasized in favor of solos. This style is also faster paced , resembling the hustle-bustle of big city life. The 52nd Street Jazz Band plays a wide variety of tunes, including most of those of more traditional jazz bands plus many of the Great American Songbook selections from the 1930's by Gershwin, Kern, Porter, and Berlin. Non-Chicagoans such as Wild Bill Davidson, Pee Wee Russell, Jack Teagarden, and Bobby Hackett as well as Louis Armstrong (after the 1920's) are often thought of as playing in this style. This style became wildly popular in New York in the 30's and 40's and was played in many jazz clubs on 52nd Street (hence the name of my band, the 52nd Street Jazz Band.

Arizona Musicfest Presents - Musicfest Jazz Program - YouTube

52nd Street Jazz Band 10/23/11 - YouTube   

Click here to see Joe with Katie Cavera, Clint Baker and Ray Templin   

AZ Jazz Society - March 2013 - 52nd St. with Pieter Meijers and Rich Klein

Click Tunes below to hear the band
(may take some time to load)

Just a Closer Walk With Thee
That DaDa Strain
Louisiana Fairytale
Tiger Rag 
At the Jazz Band Ball


We have developed a 90 minute show where we discuss the highlights of jazz history from 1900 to 1940.

We play examples of jazz developed throughout this period and we have swing dancers demonstrate the dances that were developed during these years. The dances include the Charleston, Balboa, Collegiate Shag and the Lindy Hop.

We cover significant events in the development of jazz such as ragtime, the great migration of jazz musicians from New Orleans to Chicago, the first jazz recording in 1917, the roaring twenties, the move to New York, the great depression, the emergence of swing, WWll and emergence of bebop and the decline of dancing to jazz.

We have performed this show in Chandler, Mesa, Sun City, Scottsdale and Tucson to rave reviews. The show includes a cast of 9 which includes some of the best jazz musicians in Phoenix and the top swing dance instructors in Arizona.

Joe Hopkins Quartet Gary Church, Caesar Rob, Joe Hopkins, Danny Shannon.  The quartet often plays for dances, jazz clubs, weddings, church meetings, singles groups, lindy hoppers, grand openings, banks and jazz societies.  We are currently playing every Sunday evening from 6:00 to 10:00 pm at "Chances Are"...a restaurant/bar with two dance floors in Scottsdale



Joe Hopkins Trio Gary Church, Joe Hopkins, Danny Shannon

The trio is most suitable for dinner parties, restaurants, supper clubs, office parties and small private affaires.
We are currently playing for the Sunday Brunch at the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort in Chandler, AZ every Sunday morning from 10:00 am till 1:00 pm.



52nd Street Jazz Band - New Year's Eve 12/31/2011








Joe Hopkins receiving the "Gentleman of Jazz" proclamation from the Chandler Mayor at the 2006 AZ Classic Jazz Festival.






Swing Dancers Dabney and Karen


Home Calendar Discography Quotables Venues Photo Gallery Musicians Jazz Links

Last modified: 04/19/2014 11:37 AM