Joel Hobbs writes jazz tunes and chamber music, with a specialty in mandolin and plucked string ensembles



Composer and mandolinist Joel R. Hobbs (b. 1963) writes and performs joyous music in wide range of styles including jazz, folk, chamber and plectrum orchestra.  His music has been performed by the Classical Mandolin Society of America En Masse Orchestra, International Contemporary Ensemble, the Wet Ink Ensemble, the Austin Mandolin Orchestra, Suzanne Mueller and Thomas Piercy.

The Founder and Director of the Austin Mandolin Orchestra, he is a member of ASCAP, American Composers Forum, the Classical Mandolin Society of America, Austin Friends of Traditional Music and Vox Novus.

A multi-instrumentalist, his debut solo CD, Good Dogs Always Eat features Joel performing twelve original acoustic and jazz pieces. His sophomore recording, Opus Twelve, is a collection of twenty one pieces for mandolin ensembles, which is he result of a successful Kickstarter campaign.  Dubliners Blues features Joel's debut as a singer/songwriter.

Joel has also performed with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Mandofest Orchestra, the Mandolin Symposium Orchestra, Paul Glasse, Radim Zenkl, Bret Boyer, Chris Peterson, Gary Graves, Terri Neubert, Jerry Wise, Glen Vanlandingham, Kivie Cahn-Lipman, Alex Mincek, Solomon Hoffman, and Sky Macklay.

Joel is also principal in Hyoshi New Media, Inc., a music publishing company. He teaches mandolin and resides in Austin Texas with his wife and a couple of border collies.

For more information, please visit

Describe your music

choral, classical, Dance, Film/Video, folk, jazz, Music for Young People, sacred

Music is an enigma that compels me.   When a baby laughs, a child claps or a bird chips, we are pleased.  The simplest sounds have the ability to change our mood – causing us to feel better, or worse, or some other way.

Yet the theories and tools of music composition and production are as nuanced and elaborate as any science. With each composition and performance, I become more aware of the infinite palette of musical choices and more adept at the craft of conveying my unfolding vision.

I balance my time as a composer between writing simple folk & jazz tunes and composing & arranging fully orchestrated works.

My compositions are often a reflection of the natural world. I draw on diverse influences from the gem-like precision of a Bach fugue to the primal swirling drone of a didgeridoo.

Ultimately, I seek to awaken a wellspring of joy in the performer and the listener.


Recent Works

Memories From The Future (2015) for mandolin orchestra.

Opus Twelve Collection (2012) for mandolin ensembles

Ad Astra Per Aspera (2004) for mandolin quartet

Hawthorn Hill (2004) for mandolin quartet

Father of the Forest (2005) for guitar quartet

Mbaqanga for B.J. (2006) for guitar quartet

Okeanos (2007) for guitar quartet

Las Alas Derritidas (2010) for mandolin orchestra

Jabu (2010) for three mandolins and guitar

Starlight Shine (2010) SATB choir and handbells

Il Bocolo di San Marco (2010) two mandolins and guitar

Monkey Do (2011) solo piano

Quarrantotto (2011) for violin, bassoon, piano and percussion

40 Green Street (2011) for clarinet, mandolin and cello

Waltz of the Dragonflies (2012) for clarinet and cello

Quaerens Lux in Tenebris Nemus (2012) for flute, oboe d'amour and bassoon

Kitsuné-Bi (2012) for viola, bass clarinet and percussion

Fountain (2012) for oboe, mandolin and bass clarinet

Ouvimos o Som do Mar Nas Conchas (2012) for solo flute

Sautillant Gigue (2012) for solo harpsichord