Mr. Stone did many things for Joe. He gave Joe most of the tools for developing technique. He taught Joe to read. But most important of all, he made Joe realize his future was in jazz, not "legitimate" percussion, as Joe had hoped. Through his studies with Mr. Stone, Joe became known as the best drummer in Springfield, and rudimental champion of New England.
Joe's playing activity increased, and he soon found himself on the road with several groups. First, there was Hank Garland and the Grand Old Opry, and then Whitey Bernard. After much consideration, Joe left Whitey Bernard to go to New York City.
A difficult year followed, but with Joe's determination and the help of friends like Sal Salvador, Joe began to be noticed. Soon he found himself playing with an impressive cast of musicians that included Gil Melle, Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Stan Kenton and Marian McPartland. After leaving Marian McPartlans trio, he turned down offers from the Benny Goodman band and the Tommy Dorsey band. The offer he chose to accept was a two-month temporary tour with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, which ended up lasting twelve-and-a half years. It was during the period that Joe's technique received its finishing touches from Billy Gladstone of Radio City Music Hall.
Since 1968, when the Dave Brubeck Quartet disbanded, Joe has spread his talents over a variety of areas. He maintains a very active private teaching practice. Through his association with DW Drums, Joe has made great educational contributions to drumming, as well as the entire field of jazz, by way of his clinics, lectures and guest solo appearances. Joe has recently been performing with his trio of Doreen Gray (piano) and Nate Lienhardt (bass) in the New York metro area.
Joe has appeared on over 120 albums and CDs, of which 60 were with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He won the Downbeat magazine award for best drummer for five years in a row, the Playboy award seven years in a row, and is the only drummer to win every music poll for five years in a row, including Japan, England, Europe, Australia and South America. He is mentioned in Who's Who in the East, twelfth edition, and the Blue Book , which is a listing of persons in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States who have achieved distinction in the arts, sciences, business or the professions. Revered by fans and musicians alike, Joe is considered to be one of the finest, and is probably one of the most celebrated, drummers in the history of jazz.