Guitarist Joel Hoekstra is officially the new guitarist in Whitesnake, announcing his departure from the band he was with for 7 years, Night Ranger. Here’s is Joel’s statement released earlier today.

As some of you may have already heard, I will indeed be departing Night Ranger and joining Whitesnake. I want to first thank my Night Ranger bandmates for an amazing run. Brad Gillis, Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy are like big brothers to me. I’ve learned so much from them and we’ve shared so many great experiences/laughs together that it’s impossible to put them in a status update. I’m very proud of what we achieved together over the last 7 years or so. I wish them, the amazing Eric Levy and our tireless crew the very best! I’d also like to thank “the fans”, many of whom I could more accurately describe as “friends”. It’s been really amazing to evolve from being the new guy that most people looked at skeptically into a person/player that most of you embraced. I thank you all for that. Rock n’ roll is the best job in the world and you’ve all blessed me with the opportunity to enjoy it. I’m very excited to begin a new chapter with Whitesnake and am truly humbled/honored to fill such a prestigious position. I’m going to do everything in my power to not take the opportunity for granted and I hope you all will enjoy following me on the ride!

-Joel Hoekstra

Night Ranger will be announcing Joel’s replacement shortly.

Yesterday David Coverdale released the following statement:

“Ladies & Gentlemen…Boys & Girls…Your Attention, Please…

One of the first, if not the first, guitarists to put his name forward after hearing that Doug Aldrich had left the band, was an exceptionally talented musician whom we had met briefly last year when his band opened for Whitesnake in Arizona.

Everyone was very impressed by him, not only for his ability to play amazing guitar, but, also, his very agreeable personality & he was definitely foremost in our minds when we began to search for Doug’s replacement in Whitesnake.

We jammed together & were mutually impressed enough to ask him to join Whitesnake on the spot. This was May 30th. 2014.

Joel is currently fulfilling his remaining tour dates with Night Ranger.

We sincerely thank you all for your patience & understanding…& so, without further ado, we ask you to welcome, as we have done, our exceptionally gifted new Snake Brother…

JOEL HOEKSTRA…Guitarist Extraordinaire” ~David Coverdale

Joel Hoekstra