JOEL SCHWARTZ

STUDIO GUITARIST

Remote recording

Guitars, Mandolins, Slide, and Banjo for
Producers, Singer/Songwriters, and Composers
"…aching steel guitar creating an overwhelming moment of cosmic beauty and transcendence.”
Henry Carrigan
No Depression journal of roots music

Clients

Producers

Don Kerr (Toronto)
Luther Dickenson (Memphis)
Chris Burke-Gaffney (Winnipeg)
Donna Grantis (Minnesota)
Robyn Dell Unto (Nashville)
Arun Chatervedi (Toronto)
Chris Stringer (Toronto) 

 

Songwriters

Birds of Chicago (Chicago/Nashville)
Great Lake Swimmers (Toronto)
Shakura Saida (Toronto)
Jadea Kelly (L.A)
Adrian Nation (London, UK)
Jessica Mitchell (Toronto)
Lindsay Foote (Boston)
Lydia Persaud (Toronto)
Desiree Dorian (Winnipeg) 

 

Composers

Ari Posner (Anne with an E)
Amin Bhatia (Anne with an E)
Stacey Hersch (LA composer)
Jim McGrath (Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle)
Rob Carli (Wild Roses)
Erica Procunier (Dancing Dogs of Dombrova)

 

joelJoel Schwartz is a seasoned multi-instrumentalist specializing in session guitar work. With 20 years of experience as a professional musician, he records instrumental parts for folk, Americana, roots, blues, and indie-rock musicians and composers.

He is not a traditionalist in any one style: Joel’s formal education was in jazz, but his real-world education was touring and recording with some of Canada’s best singer/songwriters including Birds of Chicago, Amelia Curran, Matthew and Jill Barber, Great Lake Swimmers, Royal Wood, Jessica Mitchell, Aviva Chernick, Andrea Koziol, Dione Taylor, Lydia Persaud, Jadea Kelly, and many others.

From his studio in Toronto, he sends electric and acoustic guitar, resonator, mandolin, and banjo instrumentals to songwriters, producers, and screen composers all over the world.

The recordings he’s played on have won, or been nominated for numerous awards including the Junos, Canadian Folk Music Awards, Western Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Ontario Folk Music Awards. Likewise, the film scores he’s played on have received several awards and nominations from the Canadian Screen Awards.

He looks forward to working with you.

Studio

Joel Schwartz’s boutique studio is filled with awesome hand-picked gear ready to enhance your work with professional hi-fi recording. The space features high-end equipment from some of the top brands: microphones by Neumann, DPA, and Royer; preamps by BAE, GRACE, and RME; and converters by Burl and Dangerous Audio. There’s a live room as well as a recording booth to capture different acoustic environments.

Portfolio

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Anarchy and Love (Adrian Nation) Electric Slide guitar, tenor banjo, mandolin, electric guitar

“Nation and Schwartz’s guitars spit screech and snarl at each other behind a tense emotional lyric inspired by a graffiti phrase ‘we are the happy future fight now’. The song is a gloriously collision of emotions that titles the album.” –

Marc Higgins, Northern Sky Magazine

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Lodestar (Birds of Chicago) Electric guitar

“…aching steel guitar creating an overwhelming moment of cosmic beauty and transcendence.”

– Henry Carrigan, No Depression (May, 2018, “Love in Wartime” Review)

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Love in Wartime (Birds of Chicago) Electric Slide guitar

“Love in Wartime starts off as an achingly beautiful vocal duet as the pair celebrate the humdrum elements of daily life finding beauty in them (“Morning dew on the petal, steam on up from the kettle”) before a stirring slide guitar solo carries the song to a glorious end.” – Paul Kerr, Blabber ‘n’ Smoke

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The Love I Know (Shawna Caspi) Electric guitar, resonator guitar

Folk

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Easy Come, Easy Go (Great Lake Swimmers) National slide guitar, electric guitar, mandolin

Indie Folk Rock (Juno nominated.)

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Desiree Dorion
Beautiful People (Desiree Dorian)  Dobro, electric guitar, electric slide guitar

Country

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Low Light (Lydia Persaud) Electric guitar

“Low Light” features some of Canada’s finest musicians such as Robbie Grunwald (Jill Barber, Good Lovelies), Joel Schwartz (Birds of Chicago), Josh Van Tassel (Great Lake Swimmers), and Drew Jurecka (Jill Barber). – torontoJazz.com

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Live/Studio Video

Play Video

Americana/Rock Poetry

Play Video
Play Video

Live at Folk Alley

Play Video

Live with Andrea Ramolo

Play Video

World/Americana

Remote Recording

You’ve written a great song and now you’re ready to bring it to life.

Remote recording is a studio session that’s scheduled, performed, and delivered online.

Here’s how it works:

1. COMPLETE QUOTE REQUEST FORM

To get the process started, the first step is to send a note using the form below. What’s your vision for the project? What story are you trying to tell through this piece of music? Feel free to reference influences and include anything you feel like sharing about the lyrics.

2. SEND YOUR STUFF AND SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

Upload your bed tracks to a file-sharing service of your choice. Schedule a 10-minute phone consultation (over Zoom or Skype) through a link we’ll send you over email. We’ll go over instrumentation, musical approach, timeline, and budget.

3. CONFIRMATION

Once we have all your information, we’ll send you all the final details including the number of parts, revisions per track (typically three), what it will cost, licensing terms, delivery details, and next steps. We require a deposit to confirm the project and get the process started.

4. LISTEN

We’ll send a rough mix of your track with the new parts. You have three revisions to approve the tracks, so if the first doesn’t work, send us your notes on Filepass (specialized revision software) with what you’d like to change.

5. DOWNLOAD YOUR TRACKS

Once everything sounds good, you send the remaining balance on Filepass, download your tracks, and mix them into your session. Request a quote now!

I’m so glad I found Joel. He's a world class musician. He has uncanny creative instinct and he’s a true pro - always delivering high quality recordings timely.
Chris Burke-Gaffney
Producer

Why it works

You may wonder, why record remotely? There are some big advantages to working this way.

The benefits of remote recording are endless.

Here are some highlights:

SAVE TIME

Working with Joel remotely frees up your precious time. Keep moving through your long to-do list, while the guitar parts you need to bring your music to life are being recorded and delivered to you by a trusted musician.

SMOOTH COMMUNICATION AND WORKFLOW

There is nothing more exciting than hearing a new track for your song, and having a good communication process can make or break the vibe. From the sample rate to the final payment, we have honed a process to ensure clear and straightforward communication – everything from the technical to the artistic. We use a software that allows you to make detailed notes attached to parts of the track.

PROFESSIONAL HI-FI RECORDING

This is a professional-grade studio for recording commercial-level tracks. Joel’s boutique studio is filled with awesome hand-picked gear ready to enhance your work. The space features high-end equipment from some of the top brands: microphones include Neumann, DPA, and Royer, preamps by BAE, GRACE, and RME, and converters by Burl and Dangerous Audio. The studio has a live room as well as a recording booth to capture different acoustic environments.

SAVE MONEY

Recording in the traditional way can be quite expensive. A big studio, an engineer, a producer, and musicians all cost a lot and a good chunk of time has to be relegated for setup. By working with Joel directly, you get: a trusted professional guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, an experienced audio engineer, and a professional recording studio.

TIME TO EXPERIMENT

Working remotely leaves a lot of room to get creative. Most studio sessions move really fast: there are tight budgets and everyone is on the clock. Joel loves recording live, but it leaves little room for experimentation or extensive multi-instrumental overdubs. When working remotely, Joel selects the perfect guitar parts, mic placement, EQ settings, and FX chain without worrying about the clock. If a track needs some extra overdubs on acoustic guitar, mandolin, or electric baritone, Joel will do that.

ACCESS TO A TON OF GEAR

When Joel goes to a traditional session, he has to make some decisions about what gear he’s going to bring. If he’s playing on only one tune, chances are he’s not going to bring twenty + instruments, several amps, his favorite mics, and rackmount preamps. By working with Joel remotely, your project has access to all the gear in his professional studio, whether it’s one tune, or a full album.

NO GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES

Perhaps the most obvious advantage to tracking remotely is still being able to collaborate even if everyone is in different cities. Let’s bridge the gap and book a session now!

Note from Joel

Hello!

Joel Schwartz

Thank you for coming here. My name is Joel Schwartz. I’m a session guitarist and multi-instrumentalist.

At the heart of how I see my role is enhancing your vision. I want to add to the depth, complement the energy, and to be part of the musical architecture of your music. Whether it’s a single, an EP, a full album, or a film score, I provide supportive instrumental parts on guitar and several stringed instruments.

Trusting someone with your music is a big deal. I made this website to connect directly with artists like you — artists who want authentic connection and creation from someone they can rely on.

STUDIO HISTORY

I decided to open my own studio after schlepping one mandolin, two resonators, an acoustic guitar, five electrics, a baritone, two amps, and twenty FX pedals to Chicago’s Electrical Audio for a recording session.

In 2014, I started remote recording. I was looking for a new way to record tracks for artists and work here has grown steadily since.

In 2018, I did a major renovation and expanded my studio (I’m still coughing out the drywall dust). Since then, I’ve been working as a session guitarist and I love it.

My goal is to be your partner in sparking the next evolution of your art. I’m excited to find the textures, instrumentation, and recording techniques to do that.

I hope to have the opportunity to work with you!

Kind words

"I love writing and recording with Joel Schwartz. His sensitivity, musicality, and killer chops make him a brilliant collaborator. (He's also a superb human.) With far more than 10,000 hours of experience as a touring artist, composer and producer, Joel's wheelhouse of skills is immense, but his wisdom and ability to communicate are possibly his greatest assets. He's clear and smart and talented, and that's a very, very solid recipe. Joel brings bullseye instincts, huge ears and exacting standards to every project he's involved in...every note is there for a reason, every sound makes perfect sense, and everyone is happy at the end of the session. Work with him and you'll see what I mean."
Andrea Koziol
Artist
"Finding the right musicians to record your work is very much like finding good friends. These are the players who bring out the best in us. They are the people with whom we have a good shorthand because the communication is natural. We trust them because they often share our views on the world, or at least have a very nuanced understanding of the way we think.

In Joel Schwartz I have found a true musical friend...someone I feel like I've known for years. He just gets it. He hears what I'm hearing and finds the best possible parts to help bring my ideas to life. We have worked together on three different TV series including the highly binge watched Netflix hit Anne with an E.

Everything I get back from Joel is super well recorded, extremely tasteful, and always serving the larger picture of my cues which, in turn, are only aiming to serve the story. Super easy to work with, always on time and on budget....I can't recommend Joel enough."
Ari Posner
Film Composer
"To date, I have worked with Joel on two albums. He added his own individuality to each song, while maintaining a distinct soundscape throughout both projects. He is diverse, professional and incredibly easy to work with. Worth every penny!"
Desiree Dorion
Artist

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