John was born into a musical family in upstate New York, his father and brothers are musicians. John began playing trumpet for the Buddy Rich and Woody Herman big bands where it soon became obvious that he had a knack for composing and arranging. Over the decades La Barbera has played with the finest jazz artists as well as symphony orchestras. In 1992 he and drummer Sherrie Maricle founded the all-female big band, Diva which has become very successful. John decided to become an educator in the 1980s and has taught at several prestigious schools of music, he is currently Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Louisville's School of Music. John's previous big band recordings have been nominated for a Grammy®, this latest one will surely be as well. "Grooveyard" features the La Barbera brothers-Pat on tenor and soprano sax with Joe at the drums. Also in the band is Renee Rosnes-piano, Rufus Reid-bass and Steve Wilson-alto sax and flute among many other stellar players.