Joe Gil is a native of Brooklyn, New York. He started playing the trombone in sixth grade. Many people have asked me why I chose the trombone. " The main reason was that when I was in grade school they needed people for the band. I knew if I took band I could get out of other classes for private lessons. So I thought this was a great idea. I had the choice of playing tuba, baritone or the trombone. The trombone was the smallest and easiest to carry so it was a no brainer".
He formed his own bands in high school and besides doing classical and big band gigs, was also doing some studio work during this time