Joseph Donnelly has a Bachelors of Music Education from Vander Cook College of Music where he graduated as valedictorian. He studied saxophone with Jim Kaspyrzk of the Chicago Saxophone Quartet and flute with Kay Clements of the Chicago Lyric Opera. He has been a member of Salaam Middle Eastern Music and Dance Ensemble for over two years and is the musical director of the Latin Dance Band Orquesta Son. He performs and records regularly with many local and regional acts including: Alma Azul, Serenade Big Band, Unstable Ensemble, Toothpick Wilson and the Cavaliers and the Klezmorchestra.