Joel Roi Aronowitz, also known as “Joel Roi,” is a gifted keyboardist, vocalist, composer and lyricist whose music has been described as a latter-day synthesis of Cole Porter, Thelonius Monk and Steely Dan.
Born in New Jersey, Joel Roi grew up in the fast lane of Pop Music’s mainstream culture. Joel is the son of the noted journalist Al Aronowitz, one of the very first “Rock Writers,” and a primary originator of “Participatory Journalism.” As such, some of the world’s most influential music personalities frequented Joel’s childhood household, including Bobby Darin, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Paul Simon, Carole King, Jerry Garcia and Bob Dylan (who wrote “Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man” in the Aronowitz family’s kitchen), to name only a few. Another influence in Joel’s upbringing was legendary trumpeter Miles Davis, whose music and commanding presence was among Joel’s earliest childhood memories.
Joel attended piano classes at Billy Taylor’s Jazz Mobile in Harlem. He studied piano and composition privately with innovative Jazz pianist and composer Walter Bishop Jr., who will forever be heard on Charlie Parker’s groundbreaking recordings.
Joel earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the State University of New York at New Paltz, where he attended an adjunct program at Karl Berger’s world-famous Creative Music Studio. The Creative Music Studio faculty at that time boasted such accomplished Jazz musicians as Jack Dejohnette, Cecil Taylor and Lee Konitz, among others.
A professional musician since his teens, Joel has toured Asia & Europe with Bertie Higgins (“Key Largo”), served as pianist for Danny & the Juniors (“At The Hop,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll is Here to Stay”), and opened for Jerry Lewis, Pat Cooper, Neil Sedaka, the Platters, Taylor Dane, etc.
Joel also has worked extensively in the motion picture industry, receiving screen credit as a sound technician in television and major feature films such as multiple Academy Award winner, “A Beautiful Mind,” starring Russell Crowe (2001); boom operator, “Rounder’s” starring Matt Damon & Edward Norton (1998); sound utility technician, “Illuminatta,” starring John Turturro & Susan Sarandon (1998), and many more.