Joe Kaufman has played the double bass since age twelve, but it wasn’t until college that he began formal instruction on the instrument. Early guidance on the bass came from his father, an avid jazz guitarist, who introduced him to the music of many great jazz bassists. In college, Kaufman studied with David Yavornitzky, Principal Bass of the Utah Symphony, and later Jeff Bradetich at the University of North Texas. While still a student, Kaufman played part-time with the Fort Worth Symphony and Dallas Opera.
After graduating from college, Kaufman joined the New World Symphony under the direction of maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2004 Kaufman moved to Seattle to join the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra. In 2005 he joined the Seattle Symphony, and in 2008 he was appointed Assistant Principal Bass.
Chamber music collaborations have included projects with James Buswell, Joshua Bell, and the renowned Dutch pianist and conductor Reinbert De Leeuw. Besides his interests in orchestral music and contemporary chamber music, Kaufman can also be heard as the bassist with Seattle singer-songwriter Bill Patton and the Credentials.