My current professional bio states that I’m one of the most recognized names in Pittsburgh music circles and perhaps one of the best jazz guitarists in the country. I started playing the guitar when I was eight years old.
As one wit remarked, “Joe Negri was playing the guitar long before it was fashionable.” My life, in many ways, parallels the history of the jazz guitar. I grew up listening to and emulating guitarists like Charlie Christian, Les Paul, and Django Reinhart. I consider myself to be a part of the second wave of jazz guitarists that came into prominence after World War II. Some of my peers included Johnny Smith, Jimmy Raney, Wes Montgomery, Tal Farlow, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel, Joe Pass, and Kenny Burrell.