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“If the name Joel Puckett isn’t etched into your brain, it should be.”

David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer
Award winning composer, Joel Puckett
PC: Kory Chase, Twist Photography

“It’s convincing as a meaningful, even life-altering, journey,”

Opera News
Demarre and Anthony McGill performing Puckett's Concerto Duo with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra
Demarre and Anthony McGill performing Puckett’s Concerto Duo with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra PC: Norman Timonera

“I enter the earth is a real find. The choral harmonies have resonances at several removes of Ligeti’s Lux aeterna. It is beautifully sung.”

Gramophone Magazine

“The music is evocative in its mix of the transcendental and the forlorn. … This is one of those operas where you can just bathe in the waves of the music.”

Lavender Magazine

Minnesota Opera production of Puckett and Simonson's The Fix
Minnesota Opera production of Puckett and Simonson’s The Fix PC: Cory Weaver

“Puckett should be a household word. He uses a fresh idiom inflected with a southern twang especially appropriate to the story of Shoeless Joe Jackson. He employs his large orchestra to create a kaleidoscope of delicate sonorities as well as grand orchestral gestures.”

Parterre Box

“the score offered an intelligent mingling of period pastiche with more adventurous harmonic wrinkles.”

Opera Magazine (UK)
The Crossing disc, “The Tower and the Garden” featuring Puckett’s I enter the earth Artwork: Steven Bradshaw

Puckett’s is the most ethereal yet is at the same time deeply connected to the earth. Unfurling at times in seeming slow-motion, the sixteen-minute work deploys pitch-bending but eschews gratuitous effects, emphasizing instead clear, expressive lyricism. Puckett tailors the musical design to the text, such that a phrase like “When you arrive at God’s place, you make yourself small” is sung quietly, whereas declarations elsewhere are delivered at a dynamic pitch. Puckett’s entrancing album-closer provides a satisfying bookend to Tulev’s opener.”


“Puckett’s ear for sonority is magnificent.”


Listen to an excerpt from The Crossing’s recording of Puckett’s I enter the earth. (via Spotify)

Listen to an excerpt from The US Air Force Band’s recording of Puckett’s Asimov’s Aviary.. (via Spotify)

Sidney Outlaw & Joshua Dennis sing Play to Win from The Fix. (via Soundcloud)