Born: 1971 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA.
Joaquin "Joe" Claussell was born in Brooklyn to a large and diverse Puerto Rican family with deep musical roots. His first exposure to entertaining audiences was in his own neighborhood at block association events, musically led by one of his elder brothers Larry Claussell. Not long after he hit the club scene, beginning collecting vinyl at the age of 15 and his diverse taste for music and dance led him from a club called "The Inferno" to punk music’s sanctuary "CBGB", the alternative driven "Mudd Club", the more mainstream "Underground", and the legendary "Paradise Garage".
While living in New York City's East Village in the early 1990s, he found and fell in love with a record store called Dance Tracks, forming a friendship with the owner, Claussell became the store’s DJ and had weekly parties that drew a diverse and increasingly devoted crowd of music lovers. Following an invitation from and good friend and owner, Stan Hatzakis, he began producing, completing his first remix “Over” and his produced first track "Awade”. Over time he learned the music business and eventually took over Dance Tracks alongside Stefan Prescott.
In 1996 Claussell launched his independent eclectic world house label Spiritual Life Music from the back of Dance Tracks, and around the same time over saw the birth of Ibadan Records with friend and executive producer Jerome Sydenham. He later expanded into label Sacred Rhythm Music in the 2000s. The labels’ productions featured organic African, Brazilian, Latin, and Middle Eastern rhythms, crossing over into Disco, Jazz, House, and other electronic music, with him being intricately involved in every aspect of the production process: music, writing, selection/creation of the visual art, and graphic design. These labels have nourished many fledgling artists, with first release "Nothing's Changed" by Ten City, followed by works from Jephté Guillaume, Mateo & Matos, Slam Mode, and 3 Generations Walking among others, along with his own first full-length album "Language" (1999).
Popular and underground artists and labels have sought him out for collaboration and remixes, including those of Femi Kuti, Herbie Hancock, Beth Orton, Stuart Matthewman (of Sade), Cassandra Wilson, Diana Ross, and Manuel Göttsching, to name a few. His remixes have revived classics such as Hector Lavoe‘s classic “Alejate;” Cesaria Evora’s “Sangue De Beirona”, and Nina Simone's “Feeling Good” – the latter featuring on prominent TV show “Sex And The City”. Joe’s "Feeling Good" remix sung by the late Nina Simone was solely responsible for the reemergence of the song, which spawned countless remakes.
Since 1996, Claussell joined Francois K and Danny Krivit to play for the legendary “Body & Soul” Sunday afternoon dance party, and for 6 years music and dance lovers from NYC and around the world came every week to experience the totally unique musical journey of classic, world, soul, disco, funk, and house.
Claussell's demand as a producer and remixer keeps him working and continues his worldwide DJ-ing schedule. His artistic talents are also sought after in the visual art world, where he toured with a project titled “Trembling Sensing Space”, produced by Dutch theater director Lidy Six. As a musician, Claussell has toured with the likes of the world-renowned percussionist Mino Cinelu, and he has also played alongside pianist/keyboard extraordinaire Bugge Wesseltoft in a band that includes Erik Truffaz, Ilhan Ersahin, Erik Holm, and Torun Eriksen.
While in New York, he also began the "Sacred Rhythm Party", designed to bring house music and live musicians together in an intimate environment, and his first Internet radio show titled “an invitation to openness”, gives him the freedom playing whatever speaks to him at that moment, as opposed to being at the mercy of the listening audience.
He is the brother of percussionist José "Cochise" Claussell.
Joe Claussell Discography
- 361 Remix
- 13 Vocals
- 101 Instruments & Performance
- 86 Writing & Arrangement
- 8 Featuring & Presenting
- 1 Conducting & Leading
- 196 Production
- 17 DJ Mix
- 101 Technical
- 1 Visual
- 3 Acting, Literary & Spoken