Joe was born in Illinois, USA, and spent his formative years in Raleigh, North Carolina. He graduated with top honors from Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA, USA) in 2014.

Joe began playing piano from a young age and was involved with his school’s music programs on both guitar and saxophone since the age of 12. His musical talents developed through involvement in the local music scene, teaching private guitar lessons and performing in ensembles including the All-State Jazz Band, as well as his own progressive rock band. During that time he studied guitar with local jazz fusion legend John Wheelis.jconnor_TAGAphoto

At Berklee, he studied Contemporary Writing & Production, growing his passion for composition, arranging, and sound design.

He studied under esteemed guitarists and instructors such as Tim Miller, Norm Zocher, Jon Finn, Bruce Bartlett, Garrison Fewell, and composer/arranger Matthew Nicholl. During his time at Berklee, he also found an interest in the Japanese language, which eventually brought him to Japan.

After graduating with highest honors in 2014, Joe became involved with the highly decorated Boston Common Band, performing at weddings and events across the New England area. He also had gigs working as a freelance session musician. In the second half of 2016, he moved to Japan to continue studying the Japanese language alongside focusing on his own musical endeavors. The American Guitar Academy is proud to have him as part of our team!


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It’s not just guitar, it’s “Music”…

I am having a lot of fun learning at the American Guitar Academy! My teacher has taught me not only guitar, but what music really is.  I was obsessed with learning techniques and I have forgotten the fun when playing the guitar.  My teacher always reminds me of the fun when I was struggling with …

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Aiko Ishikawa

I feel very lucky…

I took lessons at the American Guitar Academy while working in Japan. I feel very lucky to have found out about the academy and highly recommend it to anyone interested in guitar while in Japan. My instructor was an experienced guitar teacher, and attentive to both my progress and my learning methods. Many times when …

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Every Lesson I Learn Something New!

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Always easy to understand and fun lessons! 〇When did you start  lessons at TAGA:  3 years ago 〇Lesson Style: Classical guitar 〇Nationality: Japan 〇Age: 34
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Now I enjoy playing guitar more…

I highly recommend learning guitar at The American Guitar Academy. After my first few lessons I was already noticeably much better at playing and was also learning guitar faster than I have ever had before. Plus, now I enjoy playing guitar more than I ever have!