John Korbel - About

john korbel with guitarIt was Duke Ellington who famously said “there are two kinds of music, good and the other kind.” Not only was it a terrific observation about music, but it also contained an implied challenge. For an artist to stay on the “good” side of that choice, not only should he possess the natural gifts and emotional awareness to connect with listeners, but he should also be able to utilize a musical vocabulary that embraces the many musical traditions that came before. One such artist is singer and songwriter, John Korbel.

John Korbel’s songwriting combines the accessibility of contemporary pop and country with a decidedly Jazz song structure and phrasing technique. He also incorporates bossa nova and Latin influences into much of his work. The result is something unique and engaging.

After graduating from a university in western Pennsylvania, John returned to his home near Philadelphia and began performing his songs in bars, coffeehouses, and college campuses. While working as a solo performer, he eventually was given the opportunity to open for some major national acts including Jay Leno, and Blood Sweat and Tears.

When the time came to expand his musical vision, John brought together a group of local Philadelphia musicians to work on his songs. It was intended to be limited to a recording project. But when the recordings came to the attention of the influential Philadelphia radio giant WMMR, one of John’s tracks was included on an all Philadelphia compilation album and promoted on air by the station. This opened up more opportunities for John, along with what was now his band, to perform at clubs and events throughout the Philadelphia area, including a festival performance at the base of the famous “Rocky steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Next came a new opportunity for John’s musical expression. He was offered the lead vocalist gig with a newly formed eight piece horn band called Jellyroll. The big “horn band” sound and driving rhythm section allowed John to explore a more Rock and R&B side to his music. He began writing new songs designed to capture the energy of this new band. Jellyroll performed regionally from New York, to Philadelphia, to Washington DC, and was a summertime mainstay of beach towns in New Jersey and Delaware.

John Korbel continues to perform and record. Now with  Nashville music producer, Art Ward of Century Music Group, ( the team has produced one EP length project and the single December 10th (She Made the Most of Christmas) released for Christmas 2017. The newest project entitled “Earthlight” was a labor of love. This new EP explores John’s bossa nova and Latin influences, and showcases the power and emotion of his signature vocal delivery.

I am sure you will agree that John Korbel only makes one kind of music, the good kind!