joel willson @ the Parlor

Hi. My name is Joel Willson.

I’m a composer, songwriter, and violinist based in New Orleans, LA.  I write vulnerable, whole-hearted songs and compose music for film and media.

This is my Arts Manifesto 

Art is Spiritual:

I believe that God is creative and as creatures designed by a spark of the divine we are called to create art.

Art is Entrepreneurial: 

I believe that musicians and artists should act entrepreneurially and create self-sustaining business models that break the stereotype of the starving artist.

Art is Serving: 

I believe art is not merely self-expression, but exists for the purpose of serving others.

Art is Community:

I believe art is communal and artists are called to be leaders that shape cities, spread love, and create connections that break down barriers.

What I do

I compose music
I write songs
I play the violin
I gig for private parties, weddings, churches, and nonprofits
I perform in the band, Minos the Saint
I make films


Over the years I’ve gotten to play in some amazing venues, be a PreSonus featured performer for NAMM, open up for several major acts, and most recently, through Minos the Saint, was a recipient of a Louisiana Culture grant.

More about me…  

I was born in Baton Rouge, LA and studied Violin at Louisiana State University.  I’ve been married 10 years to my lovely wife, Amy, who is a doula, and have 3 little boys that keep me very busy.  I’m an NBA basketball fan.  My favorite Beatle is George Harrison.   I listen to all types of music but classical music has a special place in my heart–I have a tattoo of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring on my left arm:
Photo/tattoo credit: @ratchelrob (Instagram)

Stay in touch!

I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached directly by email (“joel” at “”) or phone (504) 345-9634‬.

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