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.

08/21/2012
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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