Josh Nelson Quartet feat. Joe LaBarbera
A native of Southern California, Josh Nelson maintains an active and creative schedule as a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and recording artist. He performed with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Natalie Cole, Anthony Wilson, George Mraz, Jeff Hamilton, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens, Eddie Daniels, Alicia Olatuja, Richard Galliano, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, Greg Hutchinson, John Clayton, Seamus Blake, Matt Wilson, Sara Gazarek, Dave Koz, Joe Chambers, Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, and Lewis Nash.
Josh has performed around the world and recorded for numerous albums, films, and TV shows, but also makes time for his own projects: Anticipation (2004) and Let it Go (2007, Native Language Music) both garnered international critical acclaim. Josh’s third album, I Hear a Rhapsody (2009), featured his original compositions, standard interpretations, and re-imagining of rock and pop tunes. Discoveries (2011), introduced a pairing of classic science fiction ephemera with new compositions for a brass and wind ensemble (featuring a live ongoing video projection and art installation component as well, called The Discovery Project). Exploring Mars (2015) explored musical themes on the Red Planet, along with spectacular NASA/JPL Martian video footage. Dream in the Blue (2016) documented Josh in an intimate duo setting with his longtime collaborator, vocalist Sara Gazarek. His latest album The Sky Remains (2017) delves into musical stories and themes stemming from his hometown of Los Angeles.
Original music and performances of Josh’s have appeared on various prime-time and cable shows and short films, including “Jack and Bobby”, "The Division", and a national Johnson and Johnson commercial. He has also performed with film composer Michael Kamen, and actors Eric Idle, Clint Eastwood, and Jon Lovitz. Josh has earned many awards, scholarships and accolades over the years, some of which include the Louis Armstrong Award and the John Philip Sousa Award. In 2006, Josh was one of only twelve semi-finalists in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.
Josh toured for 6 years with legendary vocalist Natalie Cole. He continues to tour with artists Eddie Daniels, Nicolas Bearde, Lorca Hart, Anton Schwartz, Allison Adams Tucker, Kathleen Grace, Gaby Moreno, Alicia Olatuja, Tom Scott, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Christian Howes.
“Josh is that rare young musician who has not only a wealth of study and experience under his belt (all but assuring him a prominent place in jazz music), but he also possesses those rarest of musical attributes: a touch, a tone, and a “sound” that are all identifiably his own.”
- Peter Erskine, legendary drummer
“A definite fresh sound by a guy who should be in everyone’s iPod.”
- George Harris, All About Jazz
"Nelson distinguishes himself as a first-rate player and composer with a fresh, wholly personal take on the music."
- Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times
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