Josh Lawrence is a jazz trumpeter, composer and bandleader living in Philadelphia where he is on faculty at the University of the Arts School of Music.
He has two solo albums to his name and has also recorded with the likes of Erykah Badu and Boyz II Men. His music has been described as “pure, unadulterated New York City and Philadelphia jazz” (Elements of Jazz). Lawrence performs regularly with pianist Orrin Evan’s Captain Black Big Band, saxophonist Norman David and the Eleventet, the Shrine Big Band, saxophonist Tim Armacost’s Brooklyn Big Band and singer Laurin Talese.
Upon graduating with a BA from the University of the Arts in 2004, Lawrence moved to New York City where he made a name for himself as a sideman while teaching music in the Bronx charter school system. While living in NYC, he studied theory and composition with master pianist Barry Harris who performed with nearly every prominent jazz musician since the 1940s including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Sonny Stitt, Lee Morgan and more.
In 2009, Lawrence relocated to Europe where he toured and recorded with Polish violinist Adam Baldych and performed a series of duo concerts with Berlin-based American pianist Reggie Moore. Later that year he released his first full length studio album ROOTS (recorded in the US) and toured throughout Poland with his trio. He returned to the states in 2011 to join the faculty at the University of the Arts and debut his NEW Quartet at the inaugural Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.
Since returning to US, Lawrence has performed at Lincoln Center, the Kimmel Center, the Jazz Standard, Small’s Jazz Club, Smoke, Chris’ Jazz Cafe, the Painted Bride, the Garage, the Shrine, Lucky Old Souls, the Society Hill Playhouse, Plays & Players and other venues in New York City and Philadelphia.
Lawrence is currently writing music for a large ensemble joint concert with bassist Jason Fraticelli and drummer Anwar Marshall which will be premiered at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia October 20th. His second solo studio album is slated for release in 2013.
At the University of the Arts, Lawrence teaches trumpet, coaches the New York Standards small ensemble and is on faculty at the UArts Pre-College Summer Institute.
Josh endorses the Soulo Mute and Reunion Blues Gig Bags.