Joseph Thrift was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina to a musical family.
His father was a pipe organ builder. In the early 1970’s, after building several small
instruments, he apprenticed to a local guitar maker, visited as many makers as he could
find, and developed a passion for the instrument making craft.
In 1976 Joe was accepted to attend the Newark School Of Violin Making in Newark-on-Trent
England. It was in these early years that he developed a close relationship with Roger
Hargrave and Julie Reed-Yeboah, now both accomplished violin makers. The graduating class
of 1979 produced many great makers. After graduation he returned to the states and opened
a violin shop in NC where he made, repaired and restored violins, violas and cellos.