Joe Alterman

A Young Pianist With Old-School Tastes

Joe Alterman teams up with sax great Houston Person on new CD and Jazz at Lincoln Center gig.

Special to The Jewish Week

The first time he realized the power of music, Joe Alterman was a camper in a Jewish summer camp near his native Atlanta.

Sitting on a stool in a Greenwich Village coffee shop, the jazz pianist recalls enthusiastically, “Everything changed when the music started,” Alterman says. It was, he remembers, a mix of old folk songs, some Joni Mitchell and, of course, Jewish camp favorites like “Jerusalem of Gold.” “Everyone would get all happy and swaying.”

Generations of swing: Joe Alterman, left, and Houston Person.  Willie T. Jones
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