"Joe Pass" (born "Joseph Anthony Passalaqua", January 13, 1929, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, died May 23, 1994, Los Angeles, California), was a jazz guitarist.
Born into a non-musical family, Joe started to play the guitar when he was 9. He remembers his father Mariano, a steel mill worker, recognising early that his son had "a little something happening" and pushing him constantly to pick up tunes by ear, play pieces not written specifically for the instrument, practice scales and not to "leave any spaces" - that is, to fill in the sonic space between the notes of the melody.
As early as 14, Joe started getting gigs and soon was playing with bands fronted by greats such as Tony Pastor and Charlie Barnet, honing his guitar skills and learning the music business. He began spending significant amount of time away from his home, traveling with small jazz groups and eventually moving from Pennsylvania to New York City. He did not pick up drinking and other bad habits from the musicians directly, but, in his words, "it was part of the whole scene". In a few years Joe fell victim to drug abuse, and spent much of the 1950s in relative obscurity.