Josh Johnson is an alto saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, and composer recognized for his unique sound and approach to improvisation. Currently based in Los Angeles, he has performed and recorded with Esperanza Spalding, Billy Childs, Lalah Hathaway, Robert Hurst, Wayne Shorter, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Marquis Hill and Jeff Parker.
Josh grew up near Chicago, and received his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. In 2012 he was one of seven musicians selected to participate in the Thelonious Monk Institute’s Masters program at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he worked with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. During his time at the Monk Institute, Josh performed in Sweden; Israel; Mexico; Turkey and Japan
In 2015 Josh was commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society to compose an hour-long multimedia suite, to be premiered at the Angel City Jazz Festival. In the resulting work “UNREST” Josh combined photographs of the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest with his compositional explorations of racism, class and the relationship between a society and its police force. He was also a recipient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award for his composition “Remember Forgot”.
Josh is a co-leader of the 7-piece collective Holophonor whose most recent album “Light Magnet” was produced by Wayne Shorter. Their new album “presents a kind of forward-looking, optimistic and exploratory attitude” (The Wire Magazine).
Josh has performed all over the world, touring with various artists including:, Marquis Hill Blacktet, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Jeff Parker’s New Breed, Carlos Niño, Josh Nelson and Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.