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|Origin||La Grange, Illinois, United States|
|Genres||Progressive rock, jam band|
|Associated acts||Umphrey's McGee, Stomper Bob, OHMphrey, Digital Tape Machine|
Cummins tours full-time with Umphrey's McGee, playing a range of shows each year, including New Year's performances at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, and festival appearances at Bonnaroo, Summer Camp, 10,000 Lakes Festival, and Langerado. International music festival appearances in the past have included Jam in the Dam and Fuji Rock Fest.
He formed the band along with Brendan Bayliss, Mike Mirro, and Ryan Stasik in December 1997 and remains with the band to this day. Cummins and Mirro were members of University of Notre Dame band Stomper Bob, who split around the same time as another local band, Tashi Station (which included Bayliss and Stasik).
In 2001, Cummins released an electronic keyboard-based album, Common Sense, which featured Umphrey's McGee guitarist Jake Cinninger on drums for most tracks. The band would later use two of the tracks, The Triple Wide and In Violation of Yes, in their concert repertoire.
In addition to playing in Umphrey's McGee and occasionally performing solo, Cummins writes and plays with a number of other bands as well. He is a member of progressive-rock tinged OHMphrey along with Chris Poland (Megadeth) and two members of Umphrey's McGee. Joel is a member of Digital Tape Machine, a more electronic Chicago-based group. Cummins also performs with the improvisational groups The Everyone Orchestra, Kick the McGee, North Indiana All Stars and Banyan, with Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction), Nels Cline (Wilco) and Mike Watt (Minutemen, Firehose, Stooges).
He has also collaborated with artists such as Huey Lewis, Joshua Redman, Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh, Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Sinéad O'Connor, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Warren Haynes, Bob Weir, Les Claypool, John Oates, Adrian Belew, Ray White & Lee Oskar.
In May 2010, Cummins married Dasha Davis and currently resides between Los Angeles and Chicago.