Joel Cross developed a passion for music in the church, singing gospel songs with his seven siblings. After picking up his first guitar at age 12, it was evident that making music was his calling. His dedication to perfecting his craft eventually led him to the University of North Texas where he studied jazz guitar. After graduation, Joel made a name for himself playing gigs throughout the Dallas music scene. Whether original music or cover, his heartfelt approach showcased his ability to make each piece sound new, truly a sound all his own. One afternoon, while playing the Dallas Arboretum, Joel decided to appease the crowd’s unconventional request for a Taylor Swift song. A fan happened to catch his very soulful rendition of “Shake it Off” on video and uploaded it to YouTube. The next morning, over a half a million people had watched the video, and Joel’s face was on every major news source in Dallas.