Mayes studied with the famed guitarist Segovia, on a scholarship paid for by Spain, after a stint in the U.S. Army. His father, Sammy, was the Principal cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Eugene Ormandy got him an introduction to Segovia who was doing a benefit for the Philadelphia Orchestra. He played for Segovia, one of the finest of the 20th century guitarists , who invited him to his masterclasses in St. James de Compostela, in Spain. When Joe explained that he had just returned from the army, and had no money for that, Segovia arranged for the Spanish government to give him a scholarship. Prior to that he studied at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia. This year his solo guitar concert will feature works by Turlough O’Carolan a leading Irish harpist, Edin Solis, Alexandre Tansman, Francis Kleynjans, J.S. Bach, and Roger Hudson. O’Carolan was the most famous Irish harper, Edin Solis is a Costa Rican composer, and Alexandre Tansman , a Pole, wrote “The Suite Cavatina” for Segovia. Francis Klegnjans is a French contemporary composer, J.S. Bach needs no explanation, and Roger Hudson is alive and well in Nashville.