freelance writer, playwright, jazz advocate

I'm a food and travel writer, feature writer, theater and music critic and cultural explorer. I am available for feature articles and copywriting work, by contract or on assignment.

My other hat is worn in performance spaces, as an award-winning playwright, jazz event producer and advocate for new, original creative work for in-house and online audiences.

"Joseph Hayes' own work and the events he creates are significant nationally and internationally. His sense of dialogue and structure, his wit and awareness of the foibles of our society and the humanism that fill the pages of his work make him a true dramatist." — David Amram.

Freelance Writer

As a writer on assignment, I've traveled to Italy, Scotland, England, New Orleans, California and New York City, with a specialty on all things Orlando. Whether it's a story about Arts & Crafts houses in Florida or new styles in computers, a Mounted Police squad or alien abduction insurance, I've written it. Environmental issues, music, movie and theater reviews and in-depth conversations with legends in jazz. Interviews and personality profiles are my specialty.

Food Writer

Florida Magazine Association Award winning food writer and Orlando restaurant critic, currently for Orlando Magazine. James Beard Foundation judge, knowledgable champion of world cuisine and avid advocate of undiscovered chefs. As a trained chef, I can write about the front of the house as well as the kitchen of a restaurant with equal expertise. Founding member, goFLA/SunshinePlate Central Florida.


From the big stage extravaganza of Tempus to the intimate "living room" drama A Little Crazy, my plays take place on buses and in bars, in hotel rooms and government offices, farmhouse kitchens and jazz stages. 32 productions and readings of my plays from coast to coast and in three countries since 2001; creator of House Theater Project and the year-long 13in13 series of shows.

Jazz Producer

Producer of the Jazz On Edge series, spotlighting new and original jazz from Central Florida. Since 2008, Jazz On Edge has showcased the best that Central Florida has to offer of the amazing range of music we know as jazz to appreciative audiences. Giving creative hometown and nationally-known musicians a place to perform their own music, without boundaries, in unusual venues in person and online. Winner, "Awesome Foundation" grant 2014.