"Joe Alterman, although younger than I, is an inspiration to me! His piano playing, his will to explore and his ability to swing is something to behold. God bless him!" — Ramsey Lewis
"Little Joe - yeah, that's what I call him, 'cause I am big and he is tiny, but only in stature. As a man and a musician he is already a giant. His zeal for life and learning is the perfect formula for taking our music to new levels. Right now, hes young. Right now, he gets it. He beeza bad MF. Little Joe, my man."— Les McCann
"Joe Alterman combines outstanding musical technique with infectious enthusiasm for his work. I've seen him fill a room with joy as his skill at the keyboard combines seamlessly with his delightful and appealing onstage personality. Young Alterman is one fine, first-class entertainer.” - Dick Cavett
"All the musicians who are now considered jazz legends played there [Birdland]: Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Lester Young, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson and Duke Ellington, among others. Alterman would have been able to hold his own jamming with any of them." — Nat Hentoff
"Joe Alterman is doing his part to keep alive the art of the swinging trio. He is a wonderful pianist whose playing brings smiles and good feelings to his listeners - as he has caused me to experience when I heard his enjoyable album." - Monty Alexander
In a recent interview with Brian Lehrer on WNYC, legendary journalist Nat Hentoff stated, "The last piece I did for them [The Wall Street Journal] - I'm so glad I had a chance to do it - is about a 24 year old pianist and composer named Joe Alterman, who is really the personification of the past of jazz - he's really deep into that -, the present of jazz - he has his own voice - and that leads him into the future of jazz, and he's so important in terms of the validity of jazz...[Joe Alterman & one of his mentors, tenor saxophonist Houston Person] make recordings that - to use the phrase that Duke Ellington really had a chance to use - are 'beyond category' because they're timeless."
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Alterman moved to New York in the fall of 2007 to study music at New York University, where he earned both his Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees in Music. While there, he had the opportunity to study with greats including Don Friedman, Joe Lovano and John Scofield.
He has performed at venues around the world including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City; The Rialto Center for the Performing Arts in Atlanta; The Blue Note Jazz Club in both Milan, Italy and New York City; The Germantown Performing Arts Center in Memphis; Birdland, The Iridium, The Friars Club, The 21 Club, Le Cirque, The 92Y and the Kitano, among others, in New York City, and New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall, either alongside his trio or with his mentors: tenor saxophonist Houston Person and pianist/vocalist Les McCann.
In addition, he and his trio have performed multiple times at the Blue Note Jazz Club as an opening act for greats including Les McCann, Ramsey Lewis, Philip Bailey (of Earth, Wind & Fire), John Pizzarelli and Hiromi, among others.
Alterman has released three albums under his own name (two of which reached the top 10 in the JazzWeek radio charts) and was profiled three times by legendary journalist Nat Hentoff - once in the Wall Street Journal.