According to the Internet source given below, Joe Jordan was an Afro-American composer/pianist born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He studied music at the Lincoln Institute (now Lincoln University) in Jefferson City, Missouri before going on at the turn of the century to play piano in St. Louis with Louis Chauvin
and Sam Patterson under the guidance of Thomas Million Turpin
In 1902 he wrote the score for "Rufus Rastus", a play starring Ernest Hogan and then in 1903 was the stage and musical director of "Dandy Coon" written by Patterson and Chauvin. In Chicago he wrote the Pekin Rag
which was dedicated to Bob Mott's Pekin Theater
In 1905, Jordan went to New York to work with Ernest Hogan who wanted to organise an all-African-American ragtime orchestra, "The MemphisStudents" together with James Reese Europe
. The "Memphis Students" contained both string instruments like the banjo, mandolin, and guitar, and brassband instruments like the trumpet and saxophone was a "playing-singing-dancing" orchestra" which toured Paris, London, and Berlin under the leadership of Will Marion Cook
He assumed the duties of musical director and orchestra leader for the Pekin in 1906 and wrote the theatre's first stage production, "The Man From Bam", with a book by Flournoy Miller and Aubrey Lyles. Jordan's band at the Pekin consisted of 16 musicians, the majority of whom were from minstrel show backgrounds.They remained the house band for the theatre's comedies and vaudeville shows until 1909, with Jordan writing the music for most of their productions.
In 1911, Jordan visited Germany with King and Bailey's Chocolate Drops. He also toured the English music halls, and between 1911 and 1913, he was back at the Pekin as musical director. He joined Will Marion Cook again in 1918, this time as financial manager and assistant director of Cook's New York SyncopatedOrchestra.
In 1928 he conducted " Keep Shufflin", a musical featuring stride pianist James Price Johnson
and Thomas Waller
. Jordan was also a band leader who travelled and recorded with his group Ten Sharps and Flats. In the thirties, he directed WPA orchestras, and as a part of the week-long ASCAP Silver Jubilee Festival held inCarnegie Hall in 1939, he directed a symphony orchestra of 75 players and a 350-voice chorus. They opened the concert with Rosamond and James Weldon Johnson's rousing anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing. During World War II, Jordan organised army bands and USO groups. Later in his career, he wrote songs with W. C. Handy and conducted the orchestra for Orson Welles's production of Macbeth.