Joel Mikulyak was born and raised in Northwestern New Jersey, and has experienced a personal connection with music since an early age. He began singing in church with his mother and playing guitar with his father. In fifth grade, he decided to start playing the trombone. Joel studied classical and jazz through high school and college, and has always enjoyed playing in wide variety of genres.
Through high school, Joel played with New Jersey's regional and high school orchastras, concert bands, and jazz ensembles, and won the "Best Soloist" award at Hershey Park's 'Music in the Parks' competition. Upon graduating, he began college as a music education major at Moravian College, in Bethlehem, Pennsylania. After two years, Joel transferred to William Paterson University, in Wayne, NJ, to study jazz performance. Through school, he had the opportunity to study with world-class musicians such as John Mosca, Jim McNeely, Neil Wetzel, Ralph Brodt, and David Demsey.
While transitioning between schools, Joel began playing with New Jersey's premier cover band, Brian Kirk and the Jirks, and continues to work as a full-time member, playing approximately 175 dates per year. On the side, he's been called to play with many musicians, including: The Four Tops, The Pat McGee Band, Phil Woods and the Coda Festival Band, Wycliffe Jean, and a variety of local cover bands.