Joseph Alessi was appointed principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic in the spring of 1985 by former music director Zubin Mehta. He began musical studies in his native California with his father, Joseph Alessi, Sr. and continued his musical training at the Curtis Institute of Music.

In April 1990 he made his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prizewinning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic. His most recent appearance with the Philharmonic as soloist was in the U.S premiere performances of the Chick Corea Trombone Concerto in May of 2023. In August of 2021 he performed the world premiere of the Corea with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil. Other solo engagements have included the New Japan Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Orchestra of Teatro Bellini, Mannheim National Theater Orchestra, Hauge Philharmonic, Gulbenkian Symphony of Lisbon, Helsinki Philharmonic, and the Colorado, Alabama, Santa Barbara, Syracuse, and Puerto Rico symphony orchestras. In 2002 Mr. Alessi was awarded an International Trombone Association Award for his contributions to the world of trombone music and trombone playing.

Mr. Alessi has been Professor of Trombone at the Juilliard School since 1990. He a clinician for the Eastman-Shires Instrument Co. and has recorded extensively for Summit Records and for the Naxos label.