Since seeing Yellow Submarine on TV at the age of 9, my life has been all about the music. I picked up the guitar immediately and played in a number of bands, took private instruction, and generally pursued my passion throughout my teenage years.
When I turned 18, I realized that I had to learn more in a formal environment if I was going to pursue music more seriously and with greater understanding and focus. I enrolled at Berklee College of Music in 1982 and graduated in 1986 with a Bachelors Degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging and Music Education. At Berklee I learned the value of self-discipline, music theory, ear training, arranging, composition, and many other areas of music. It was an unbelievable opportunity to work with so many devoted and talented teachers and students. My experiences at Berklee laid down my musical foundation for the rest of my life.
After Berklee, In I pursued and obtained my Masters Degree at the New England Conservatory of Music. NEC gave me the opportunity to develop and refine my creativity and to expand my influences to include many forms of classical music as well other styles and genres. While at Berklee I learned all of my essential building blocks, the Conservatory provided me time and resources to evolve my skills and understanding to an entirely new level.
Since graduating NEC with my Masters in 1989, I played with a very wide variety of musicians, ensembles and shows in the U.S. and abroad, including the Fantasia Musical Circus in Japan (similar to Cirque du Soliel), a production of Jesus Christ Superstar in Germany, a stint as Musical Director for Living Stage (a division of the prestigious Arena Stage of Washington, D.C.), and numerous other teaching engagements, including a three year stint at Berklee, teaching arranging for rhythm section and horns.
In 1996, I returned home to Philadelphia, and devoted my efforts to teaching, composing and playing with the many fine musicians in the Philadelphia metro area, as well as performing solo engagements. Here I founded the David Joel Quartet and the Guitar Studio.
My current focus is to continue to teach, compose and perform with the quartet and in a trio format as well.