Born in 1980 in Norfolk, Virginia; son of Dianne Joyner Barnes and Jackie Charles Ray Smith. Joyner inherited some of his musical gifts from his professional bass player father, Jackie Charles Smith. Joyner grew up in a Christian household while developing most of his musical sensibilities from singing in the church choir and playing drums behind uptempo gospel songs.
After moving further north, Jackiem began playing saxophone while attending Fowler High School in Syracuse, NY under the leadership of his music teacher and mentor Loue Adams. He decided to compete in the NAACP's youth achievement program "ACT-SO" (geared towards African Americans demonstrating academic, artistic and scientific prowess and expertise) representing the city of Syracuse and won the state competition three years in a row in three different categories: instrumental contemporary, composition and classical music