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  • Josh Workman (2006)

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    Josh Workman began playing guitar at age 10 and by the tender age of 13 was already out performing in the smoke-filled bars of San Francisco's infamous North Beach. While still underage, he spent many nights hiding out in the back rooms of these clubs, as the venue owners tried to conceal him from the beat cops patrolling the area. At times, Josh's school teachers would come watch him perform into the wee-hours, always wondering if he would be too tired to make it to class the next morning. Through his high school years, Josh attended the School of the Arts during the day, all the while continuing to perform and record at night and on weekends. Some of his earliest guitar teachers included Ray Scott, Tuck Andress (Tuck & Patti), Dave Creamer and Bruce Foreman.

    After a year at Berklee School of Music in Boston, at age 19 Josh left to finish his studies at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. This is where he fully immersed himself in learning to play jazz guitar. His mentors there included Gene Bertoncini, Jim Hall and Vic Juris. Thanks to pianist Armen Donelian, Josh began transcribing the music of John Abercrombie for German publisher, Advance Music. This led to a 5-year stint as house transcriber for Warner Bros., Hal Leonard and other publishers. Also during this time, he recorded and performed with artists such as world music ensemble D'Vash, The Jazz Passengers (featuring Deborah Harry of Blondie) and Groove Collective.

    Soon after his return to the Bay Area in 1995, Josh joined the renowned jump-swing band, Indigo Swing. It was during this period that he honed in on the jump-blues and early guitar styles of T-Bone Walker, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt and Tiny Grimes. During the neo-swing craze of the late 1990s, Indigo Swing was regarded as one of the bands leading the pack, touring internationally and performing 200-300 dates per year. Brian Setzer, recognizing their impact on the scene, invited them to tour with him and his orchestra (The Brian Setzer Orchestra) in support of his double platinum release The Dirty Boogie. Indigo Swing headlined many prestigious festivals around the globe such as the Stuttgart Jazz Festival in Germany, where they shared the stage with legends Rosemary Clooney, Lionel Hampton and vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater. The group also enjoyed some crossover success, selling well over 100,000 CDs nationwide.

    In September of 2004, while touring as a member of the Hot Club of San Francisco, Josh's anticipated debut CD Jumpin' At The Border hit the shelves, furthering his growing reputation as a bandleader. The CD reflects the many variations of jazz in which Josh is well versed. Among the talented musicians featured on this recording is pianist and arranger Larry Vuckovich, who has performed with a multitude of jazz greats including Dexter Gordon, Philly Joe Jones and Jon Hendricks. Sharing the spotlight on drums are two former members of Sarah Vaughan's band; Harold Jones, who was also a member of the Count Basie Orchestra and Omar Clay, who performed with Charles Mingus and recorded on/produced Elvin Jones' M'Boom recordings. Lending his fiery Latin percussion to the mix is Grammy-nominee and Tito Puente alum John Santos. Dynamic vocalist Kim Nalley also performs on two tracks.

    Besides his work as a bandleader, Josh continues to be in-demand as a sideman; he performs with actress/vocalist Lynda Carter, vocalist Connie Evingson, pianist Larry Vuckovich (which includes previous appearances at the Monterey and San Francisco Jazz Festivals), vocalist Kim Nalley and several other ensembles. In addition to his busy performance schedule, Josh writes for Guitar Player Magazine.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Raphael Rabello and Dino 7 Cordas Raphael Rabello & Dino 7 Cordas Um a Zero (Milestone)
    # 2 Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant Stratosphere Boogie Old Joe Clark (Razor & Tie)
    # 3 Jimi Hendrix Axis: Bold As Love Bold As Love (Experience Hendrix)
    # 4 Clifford Brown and Max Roach More Study in Brown Jordu (Emarcy)
    # 5 Wes Montgomery Incredible Jazz Guitar Gone with the Wind (Riverside)
    # 6 Keith Jarrett The Köln Concert Part 1 (ECM)
    # 7 Bill Evans and Jim Hall Undercurrent My Funny Valentine (Blue Note)
    # 8 Junior Brown Git with It Highway Patrol (Curb)
    Book "Either my trusty 1979 Real Book, so I can learn all the wrong chord changes to all the right tunes, or 'Raft-Building for Dummies'
    Luxury Item "An acoustic bass. I've always wanted to learn. I figured I'd get pretty good on a desert island. Then, after I feel I've done all I can, I'd stick all the album covers together with palm-tree sap and fashion a sail with the bow and the strings."
    Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
    Alt 1 AC/DC Highway to Hell Highway to Hell (Epic)
    Alt 2 The Cars The Cars Just What I Needed (Elektra)
    Alt 3 Charlie Christian The Genius of the Electric Guitar Airmail Special (Columbia)
    Alt 4 Gonzaguinha Brazil Classics, Vol. Asa Branca (Luaka Bop)
    Alt 5 Wynton Kelly Piano Whisper Not (OJC)
    Alt 6 Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne The Poll Winners It Could Happen to You (Contemporary)
    Alt 7 Jaco Pastorius with Sam and Dave Jaco Pastorius Come On, Come Over (Epic)
    Alt 8 Franz Schubert Schubert Lieder, Elly Ameling and Dalton Baldwin Ave Maria (Phillips)
    Alt 9 Igor Stravinsky Le Sacré du Printemps/Petrushka, Oslo Philharmonic Conducted by Mariss Jansons Petrushka (EMI)
    Alt 10 Stevie Wonder Innervisions Living in the City (Motown)
    Castaways by date
    George Cotsirilos
    09 Feb
    Ed Klitsch
    05 Jan