Meet Joe

Joe Martin began playing guitar at age 11.  Upon learning to play “Photograph” by his favorite band Def Leppard, he never looked back.  He immersed himself in the instrument, excited by the energy of classic rock and early 80s metal, and found himself in his first rock band at age 12. 

Joe’s musical interests widened when he hit high school, thanks to inspiring and committed teachers who sensed his potential.  Not only did his stylistic influences expand into classical and jazz, he also began to conquer several other instruments, including piano, saxophone and drums.  He took every opportunity to play in numerous rock, classical and jazz groups, including New York’s All-State Jazz Band.  Inspired by technically advanced musicians such as Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Morse, Chick Corea and Frank Gambale, Joe kept setting the bar for his technicality and expressiveness higher and higher.  Joe credits a miraculously supportive family, school, church and a like-minded community of artistic friends for enabling and encouraging such intense focus during his high school years. 

Joe became a classical piano major at Ithaca College in 1990, where he also had the privilege of studying jazz harmony and improvisation under Rick Beato.  While he subsequently decided to pursue a career other than music, he stayed heavily involved in the college music scene, absorbing every music theory course he could, playing in several rock and jazz groups, and honing his jazz improvisation skills. 

Later in 1999 Joe composed, recorded and produced Algorythm, an instrumental album on which he played all the instruments - guitar, piano, bass and drums - fusing all the divergent styles he spent his formative years absorbing. 

Joe has since carved out a successful career as a software developer, and has no regrets about refraining from a full time career in music.  However, Joe has established a side career performing his own exciting and emotional arrangements of well-known rock, jazz and classical selections.  You can catch him at various venues in the northern Shenandoah Valley, see his gig schedule on the home page.