In demand as both performer and educator, Joe McCarthy's versatility has taken him from Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, to Afro Cuban, Bebop, and beyond. Joe is the leader/founder of the Grammy Award winning “Afro Bop Alliance,” an Afro Cuban Jazz Septet based in the Washington DC area. Afro Bop is featured on the new “Caribbean Jazz Project” CD released on Heads-Up International, winner of the 2008 Grammy for Latin Jazz Album of the year, as well as being nominated for the 51st Grammy Awards in the same category.
Active in recording, Joe has been featured on numerous projects, as well as producing all of the Afro Bop recordings and co-producing the Caribbean Jazz Project CD. The band’s 2 previous releases, “Encarnacion” and “Camino Nuevo” have received critical acclaim, worldwide, including Camino Nuevo winning the 2006 Wammie for Latin Album of the Year. Joe has performed and or recorded with: The Caribbean Jazz Project, Slide Hampton, Antonio Hart, Poncho Sanchez, Dave Samuels, Arturo O'Farrill, Michael Mossman, Ray Vega, Jimmy Bruno, Michael Formanek, Mitch Seidman, Bill Warfield, Mundell Lowe, Alain Mallet, Christian Howes, Roberto Quintero and Boris Kozlov.
Joe is the Drummer for the United States Naval Academy Band's Jazz Ensemble, The Next Wave, and Principal Percussionist of the USNA Band’s Wind Ensemble.
Joe is also a member of The Global Percussion Trio, a dynamic group featured at the 2006 PASIC Convention, and co-leader of the Norman/McCarthy Big Band with their 2007 release of “Words Cannot Express,” on OA2 Records. Active in education, Joe is an Adjunct Professor of Drumset and Afro-Cuban Percussion Studies at Georgetown University in Washington DC, and in demand as a clinician throughout the US and abroad. Joe has written for Jazz Improv Magazine, Latin Percussion’s “All About Rhythm” and has contributed to the educational websites of Zildjian and Innovative Percussion, as well as many others. Joe’s Afro-Cuban Big Band Play-Along Book/CD is published by Alfred Music . Joe proudly endorses Zildjian Cymbals, Yamaha Drums, Innovative Percussion, Lp Percussion and Remo Drumheads.