Joel Frahm was born in Racine, Wisconsin, in 1970. He attended the Stephen Bull Fine Arts School, where he began playing the tenor saxophone. At the age of 15 he and his family moved to West Hartford, Connecticut, where he attended William H. Hall High School. He met pianist Brad Mehldau at school, and the two had weekly gigs locally. After leaving high school in 1988, Frahm attended Rutgers University for a year before transferring to The Manhattan School of Music, and following graduation with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Jazz Performance he entered Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead workshop. His debut recording as a leader was Sorry, No Decaf, for Palmetto Records, in 1998. A 2001 recording, Don't Explain, was a series of duets with Mehldau. A regular on the New York City club circuit, Joel Frahm has appeared alongside musicians such as Brad Mehldau, Bill Charlap and Matt Wilson and has recorded with Diane Schuur, Kurt Elling, Jane Monheit and other top jazz artists. Fans know him for his big tenor sound - fluid, inventive and filled with passion. Downbeat Magazine's critics' poll has named him a rising star.