Joseph Jarman (born September 14, 1937 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas), is a jazz musician, composer, and Shinshu Buddhist priest. He was one of the first members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and a member of the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
Jarman grew up in Chicago, Illinois. At DuSable High School he studied drums with Walter Dyett, switching to saxophone and clarinet when he joined the United States Army after graduation.During his time there, he was part of the 11th Airborne Division Band for a year.
After he was discharged from the army in 1958, Jarman attended Wilson Junior College, where he met bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut and saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, and Anthony Braxton. These men would often perform long jam sessions at the suggestion of their professor Richard Wang (now with Illinois University). Mitchell introduced Jarman to pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, and Jarman, Mitchell, and Maghostut joined Abrams’ Experimental Band, a private, non-performing ensemble, when that group was founded in 1961. The same group of musicians continued to play together in a variety of configurations, and went on to found the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) in 1965, along with Fred Anderson and Phil Cohran.