“Joey’s scheduled to headline the Newport Jazz Festival this summer.
He lives in New York, but he was born far removed from New York’s swinging jazz scene on the Indonesian island of Bali. He likes to swim and watch movies. He wears sneakers and blue framed glasses.
Here’s the thing. “I’m 11 years old,” says Joey. “I started playing piano when I was 6, but I already heard music before that, when I was a baby.”
Joey says his dad introduced him to great jazz music by playing records by Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, Duke Ellington and Herbie Hancock. “I started to try this instrument — the piano — and I started to pick up some notes and follow the melody. That’s how it started. When I was 7, I got serious.”
Just a year later, when Joey was 8, he got to meet Hancock. Hancock happened to be visiting Indonesia as a UNESCO Good Will Ambassador and he encouraged Joey to stick with it. And he did.“