Joe has been creating music for over 50 years. His very first composition, "Going to Cape Cod" received rave reviews from his parents - especially after he stopped playing it incessantly. While he was classically trained in clarinet, bassoon, oboe, and compositon, he is self-taught on piano. His desire to be a part of his high school's stage band pushed him into an exponential education about piano, chord structure, performance, and creating arrangements for stage band.
While attending the University of Vermont, he created original music for two plays - Tewfik Al-Hakim's "The Tree Climber" and Georg Kaiser's "From Morn 'til Midnight", both of which garnered praise for his (and collaborator Paul Appelget's) inventive sounds and textures.
He relocated to Texas after receiving a BS degree in Civil Engineering in 1977 and has since played with a number of Texas musicians, with song styles ranging from jazz, rock, and blues to country, cajun, and conjunto.
He met Berklee College of Music Songwriting Pat Pattison in 1993, and has been a fan of Pat's work since. He believes that the music community in Austin, TX, as well as a diligent application of Pat's "tools" helped him receive numerous songwriting awards from the Austin Songwriter's Group, the Colorado Composer's Classic, the Virginia Songwriters Association, as well as many other organizations supporting songwrters around the US.
After enjoying his first14 songs in 14 days writing challenge, he spent a year writing and recording a song every day. Ten of those songs became the basis for his homage to American Painter Edward Hopper, entitled, "Ten Pieces of Light". This pop/jazz album embraced several decades of popular music styles and created vignettes for titles of ten of Mr. Hopper's works.
Over the past 40 years he has created music for public service announcements, commercials, promotional venues. as well as liturgical choral music. More recently, he worked with filmmaker Sandy Hain to create the music for the Women's Storybook Project of Texas (www.storybookproject.org) video as well as other non-profit videos.
He is the moderator for a monthly song critique session in Austin, TX, and has been helping songwriters improve their songwriting craft for over 25 years by sponsoring workshops with Professor Pat Pattison, (the late) John Brahaney and his wife Joann, Grammy-award winner Steve Seskin, vocal coach Debbie Beinhorn, and other industry professionals dedicated to helping aspiring songwriters.
He continues to play piano in small public venues, enjoying as many as 2497 happy folks (and three sore heads) in attendance and thrives in the Austin area with his wife, Ilene, and family.