16.12. – Happy Birthday !!! An accomplished international Jazz artist, Fonda has performed with his own ensembles throughout the United States and Europe, and as a side man with Archie Shepp, Ken McIntyre, Lou Donaldson, Bill and Kenny Barron, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Mark Whitecage, Marion Brown, and Bill Dixon.
Fonda was the bassist with the renowned Anthony Braxton sextet, octet, tentet, from 1984 through 1999. Fonda also sat on the Board of Directors from 1994 to 1999, and was the President from 1997 to 1999 of the newly formed Tri-Centric Foundation. He has also performed with the 38-piece Tri-Centric orchestra under the direction of Anthony Braxton, and was the bassist for the premiere performance of Anthony Braxton’s opera, “Shalla Fears for the Poor,” performed at the John Jay Theater in New York, New York, October 1996.
As a composer, Fonda has been the recipient of numerous grants and commissions and has released eight recordings under his own name. (Reviews and recordings available). Fonda was also a member of The Creative Musicians Improvisors Forum directed by Leo Smith, and was the bassist with the American Tap Dance Orchestra in New York City, directed by world renowned tap dancer, Brenda Bufalino.
In 1989, Fonda performed with Fred Ho’s Jazz and Peking opera in its world premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. From 1982 to 1986 Fonda was the bassist and dancer with the Sonomama Dance Company. An independent producer since 1978, Fonda is the founding director of Kaleidoscope Arts and interdisciplinary performance ensemble.
Currently Fonda has been recording and touring extensively with the Fonda-Stevens Group. They have released five CDs and have had seven European tours since 1997, with performances at the Bim huis in Amsterdam, Holland, the Prague Jazz Festival, Czech Republic, the Jazz Halo Festival, Belgium, and Jazz Festival Thurinsen, Weimer, Germany.
Three of Fonda’s most recent projects are From the Source, Conference Call and the FAB Trio.
From the Source is a group that incorporates the tap dancing and poetry of Brenda Bufalino and the healing arts of Vicki Dodd, and four jazz musicians. The group has released their first CD entitled, Joe Fonda and From the Source, on Konnex Records.
Conference Call is a quartet, featuring drummers, Han Benik and Matt Wilson, with pianist Michael Stevens, and bass Joe Fonda. Conference Call has released two CDs, one of Soul Note, Final Answer and one on Leo Records Variations on a Master Plan.
The FAB Trio, featuring Joe Fonda, Barry Altschul, and Billy Bang, has just released its first CD, Transforming the Space,, on CIMP Records. “The FAB Trio serenades us with their maturity, their honesty and longevity found in their many years of individual performances,” describes Kunle Mwanga, “They continue to be fresh and in the avant-garde of the music scene.”