Joe Hakim was blessed with musical genes from his grandmother, Jeanne Hakim, who was a concert pianist in Belgium during WWII. Joe grew up learning rock and roll, fusion, jazz, funk, and the pop music of the day. Joe earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from William Paterson University's Jazz Studies Program under the tutelage of the world renowned Rufus Reid, graduating Cum Laude. During this time, Joe's ensemble won First Place in Downbeat Magazine’s student competition. He studied Double Bass with the Grammy-winning Dr. Todd Coolman, and Piano with Noreen Lienhard. Joe also had the opportunity to take lessons with the legendary Dave Holland,and had the chance to study and perform with such luminaries as Mulgrew Miller, Vic Juris, Horacee Arnold, John Rielly, Armen Donelian, Harold Mabern, Jim McNeely, Paul Myers, Steve Wilson, Ralph Peterson, and Dave Samuels.
Upon graduating, Joe became immersed in the music scene around NY/NJ, playing hundreds of gigs in all styles of music: Rock, Pop, Jazz, Singer-Songwriter, R&B and Funk, World Music, Swing, Big Band, and more. He had the opportunity to play on many famous stages in NYC, and worked in the pit bands for dozens of musicals.
Joe also began his teaching career around this time, starting at the Calderone School of Music. While on the faculty there, he taught electric bass, double bass, guitar, and piano. He also conducted the jazz ensemble and substitute taught lessons on violin, cello, flute, and drums. Joe has also taught at Summit Music Studios, The Amati Conservatory, The NJ Workshop for the Arts, The NJPAC Jazz For Teens Program, and William Paterson’s Summer Jazz Program, as well as being on the music faculty at Essex County College, The Ridgewood Encore Music Program, and Eric Smith Middle School.
After honing his craft, Joe began his own private teaching practice which he continues to this day. Many of Joe's former students have gone on to become music majors at Juilliard, Montclair State University, Berklee, The New School, and William Paterson University. Several have gone on to become professional musicians as well. Joe has been a music teacher for 25 years and counting.
In addition to his performing and teaching, Joe established JHMusicInc to document and promote his writing, arranging, and producing. Joe has released two full length CD's under his own name: “Last Moon”, a showcase for acoustic guitar and string arrangements, and "Imprints", a collection of original modern jazz compositions featuring Joe on piano and double bass and Matt Slocum on drums.