Josh Johnson is an alto and soprano saxophonist and composer recognized for his unique sound and captivating approach to improvisation. He has performed with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Lalah Hathaway, Robert Hurst, Esperanza Spalding and Aretha Franklin.
Growing up near Chicago and returning there after college, Josh became a key part of the scene, frequently performing with Chicago luminaries Jeff Parker and Marquis Hill. During his time in Chicago Josh was awarded 1st place in the Civic and Arts Foundation's Jazz Composition Competition for his composition "Comrade Napoleon", as well as 2nd place honors in the Foundation’s Improvisation Competition.
In 2012 Josh relocated to Los Angeles as one of seven musicians selected to participate in the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance. During his tenure at the Monk Institute, Josh worked with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Billy Childs, and performed in Sweden, Israel and Mexico. Josh also performed at UNESCO’s International Jazz Day celebrations in Istanbul and Osaka.
A recipient of a 2015 ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award for his composition "Remember Forgot", he co-leads the fearless collective Holophonor, who recently released their self-titled debut album. Josh is one of the co-founders of the genre-defying ensemble Snaarj, whose latest release “Levels” was described as “a substantial work full of deep textures, deft musicianship and expertly crafted compositions” (Kyle Long, NUVO).
Josh is currently based in Los Angeles, where he leads his own band and frequently performs with various musicians including Mark De Clive-Lowe, Jeff Parker, Josh Nelson and Miro Sprague.