Joe Gil is a native of Brooklyn, New York and was raised on Long Island, New York. From an early age he always had a fascination with music. In high school he formed his own bands and besides doing classical and big band gigs, was also doing some studio work during this time. After graduating from High School he attended college at SUNY at Stony Brook for two years and eventually transferred to SUNY at Old Westbury. At SUNY at Old Westbury he had the opportunity to study jazz with Makanda Ken McIntyre. After graduating from SUNY at Old Westbury he performed in Ken Makanda McIntyre’s jazz orchestra.
After graduating from college, he moved into Manhattan. He studied for a period of time at the Jazz Cultural Theatre run by Barry Harris and took lessons from both he and Benny Powell. Also at this time he had the opportunity to play in Makanda Ken McIntyre’s jazz orchestra. During this time he the opportunity to play with such players as David Murray, Craig Harris, Sonny Fortune, Cecil Bridgewater, Jimmy Owens, Arthur Blythe, Henry Threadgill and Hamiett Bluett among others.
At the same time he also did gigs with various big bands in the city. He spent some time playing with Warren Smith’s Composer Workshop Ensemble. Also playing shows during the summers up in the Catskills. Plus doing many Latin gigs with such musicians as Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe and Yomo Toro.
At that time he did gigs with various groups including playing with Warren Smith’s Composer Workshop Ensemble. Also playing shows during the summers up in the Catskills. Plus doing many Latin gigs with such musicians as Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Larry Harlow and Yomo Toro. And also playing with a Haitian band which toured in Haiti and most of the Eastern US and Canada. As well as playing freelance jazz, R&B and blues gig in the tri-state area.
He has also played with members of the Saturday Night Live Band (G. E. Smith & Sean Pelton) and Late Night With David Letterman Band (Al Chaz), Premik Russel Tubbs (Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin ), Neil Alexander (Nail & Mahavishnu Project) and Gregg Bendian (Mahavishnu Project) among others.
At the present time Joe is currently leading various jazz groups of his own as well as subbing with various groups. His latest group is called the Thunderhead Organ Trio. This is a trio consisting of organ/keyboards, drums and trombone. This group plays original music as well explores the grittier, rockier side of the genre referencing groups like the original Tony Williams Lifetime, Mahavishnu Orchestra, John Scofield and mines the jazz standard repertoire for obscure gems and deep cuts.