S. Joel Norman began playing music at age four at the piano. “Mom probably got sick of me pounding on her antique piano as a toddler, so she put me in lessons,” he says. Hailing from the south suburbs of Chicago, Norman got his musical start playing and composing gospel music in the church. “Some of the guys who played there were also working musicians, and after playing a couple Sunday mornings with them they asked me to come play on Saturday nights with them. I was in junior high.”

He went on to study at Wheaton Conservatory of Music, where he began composing and arranging pieces for orchestra, chorus, and jazz ensemble.

He's also played alongside jazz greats Ira Sullivan and Marquis Hill, as well as rock and roll heroes Billy Ozzello (Survivor) and Chip Znuff (Enuff Znuff), and went on the road playing keyboards with Eddie Money.