He honed his music skills at Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School, where he played piano in the jazz band and clarinet in the infamous "Douglass Ducks" marching band. While still in high school, Joey began performing music professionally, first with his father in nightclubs and later with local Baltimore groups such as The Mellow Souls, The Sultans, Tomorrows Promise, Madhouse and Witchcraft.
By the time he graduated from Douglass in 1971 he was considered a professional. Joey gained a reputation as one of... if not the “baddest keyboard player” ...in Baltimore. His “keyboard acuity” inspired his manager at that time – local entrepreneur Cleveland L. Blackmon – to nickname him “Razor Sharp.” In 1976 – upon the recommendation of Gary “Mudbone” Cooper – he received the call to join Bootsy’s Rubber Band. And the rest is P-Funk history!
Although he spent most of his career as a Funkateer, traveling from coast to coast performing, Joey also treasured his family and his children. He was invested in his children's lives and like his father Isaiah, introduced them all to musical instruments. Joel was a fun-loving father but provided discipline and structure to his children's lives. He was also a wonderful brother to his sister, Marcia and younger brother, Everett. Joel juggled his family life and performances with Bootsy until 2015. The final chapter of his career was with Freekbase & the Bump Assembly.