Joe McWilliams got his start as a professional pianist in the late 1970s, first performing with his mother's band as well as at the River Cafe in Brooklyn and at Greene Street in Soho. Trained classically by Ray Therrien and in jazz by John Mehegan, Joe spent much of the '80s performing in New York and New Haven. Joe has played in 30 countries and recorded extensively with both his own groups and with others. Among the many artists he has played with or opened for are Dave Brubeck, Cab Calloway, Gerry Mulligan, Cookie Thomas and the Platters. Joe cites a variety of artists as his main influences: Bill Evans, Eddie Buster, Jan Hammer, Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell and Red Garland.