Joe Gavin

Joe Gavin began playing the guitar when he was sixteen years old. Having only his ear and a handful of chords shown by a friend, he would put on a record and try to play what he heard. Hearing the release of Phil Keaggy's Beyond Nature was a turning point for Joe. "It was like an awakening for me. That music brought to life a side of me I had not really known before." Joe bought an acoustic guitar and began to explore and develop this new love. He has been playing solo acoustic guitar for the past 26 years.  "Listening closely to the instrument, and contemplating the world around me are my greatest inspiration for new compositions. It's sort of like a musical conversation."  This intimacy with the instrument is evident in the music that results.



"Brilliant and enlightened  music played by an understated and talented guitarist. Few albums (showing my age) allow the listener to hear something new on each listening. "Summit Of Leaves" lifts one up with its beautiful melodies and stellar musicianship. If you are a player it will either make you want to play more or give up your instrument. If you are just the casual listener you'll find a lot to go back and listen over and over again."

                  Tom Norman, Florida Southern College

"I picked up your Summit of Leaves CD

 Wednesday and have listened to it front to back about 8 times. I always find at least one track on any CD I've ever purchased, that I didn't particularly like. Not so on this one, my brother. You and your production people have put a real gem together. Thanks for sharing your music with us and may God continue to bless you and your family"                      Tony Wright, Photographer



About Me

Photo by Erin Gavin

Photo by Erin Gavin

There is beauty to found ....just open your eyes and take it in.         


I've been playing guitar for the last 36 years. As a teenager I played electric guitar in several youth bands and in church. In my twenties I fell in love with the sound of the acoustic guitar, especially solo instrumental acoustic guitar. That's when I got serious about technique and composition. Over the last decade I have performed for numerous events and weddings, played guitar on many recordings, conducted demonstrations for schools, performed with ballet companies, participated in worship music, and recorded an album of original music. I currently manage Carlton Music Center in Lakeland FL, and enjoy composing instrumental guitar music, study music and teaching guitar.


Performing, composing, arranging, recording, teaching.   

I consider myself blessed in many ways. When I was a young man I dreamt of making music as my career. While that dream didn't play out as I thought it might, it did play out. By day I manage Carlton Music Center's Lakeland store location and by night I play guitar and compose. I play for events, weddings, fundraisers, etc. I have about 14 guitar students and find great enjoyment and satisfaction in helping them grow musically. My wife and daughters have their own ballet studio, Studio 1 Ballet, where they teach true ballet technique. I worship at Trinity Presbyterian Church in downtown Lakeland where I occasionally have the pleasure of playing in the praise band. I believe that music is a gift from God, and that there is music where he is.


fingerstyle guitarist

An album that is gripping and passionate.The use of the instrument as a WHOLE is what separates this album from other guitarists. The hammer harmonics bring a powerful and commanding sound to the undertones being played throughout. It is refreshing to hear something NEW and exciting. A great instrumentalist that says so much without uttering the first word...

                                                              Mark Elliott