Joe Balistreri, a proud citizen of Detroit, Michigan, earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Organ Performance at the University of Michigan with Dr. James Kibbie. Recognized for “especially moving” interpretation (The American Organist) and “impressive technique and bristling enthusiasm” (The Diapason), his organ performances include an AGO convention, university conferences, and orchestral collaborations.
Since 2011, Joe is the Director of Music for the Archdiocese of Detroit, serving as a resource and community facilitator for parish musicians and clergy. In this role, he created an annual "Chant Bootcamp", a down-to-earth crash course week that enables parish musicians to read, understand, and enjoy plainchant. He also developed an annual Marathon Organ Recital, showcasing parish organists from across Southeast Michigan in a whirlwind series of 25 minute recitals. The Marathon also includes a fundraising competition, supporting the music ministries of each organist.
Joe is also Episcopal Music Director at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral. There, he co-directs the parish adult choir, directs the Archdiocesan Chorus, and leads the Cathedral Cultural Series (CCS), a non-profit concert series bringing the finest organ and choral music to the historic Cathedral. The Series features music for two organs at least annually, showcasing the Cathedral's splendid 1925 Casavant and 2005 Austin organs.
In his spare time, Joe enjoys cycling, cooking, surveying architecture, Detroit politics and composing. Joe is particularly proud of starting a choral program at Detroit’s Loyola High School, a school serving at-risk inner-city youth.