“I love connecting with people,” says young trumpeter, composer and bandleader, Josh Shpak. “Whether they be teenagers or your grandma, if I can see that they’re feeling the music, I’m happy.”
This breaking of generational gaps has become somewhat of a habit for the 24 year-old Berklee College of Music alum. A protégé of the late-great jazz icon Clark Terry, Josh Shpak is driven by an immense respect for the past and a desire to put his own mark on the future. “Every great musician in history has been completely present in his or her own time period, while using their knowledge of the tradition to drive their creative forces.” With such a wide stylistic palette evident of influences from classic jazz to electronica, Shpak has made himself a wanted commodity in the music world — playing with jazz heavy-weights, such as George Garzone, Dave Liebman and Jimmy Heath, soul legends Tower of Power, 90’s rock ragers G Love and Blues Traveler, and pop/opera superstar, Josh Groban.
Shpak is currently a member of Boston-based rock/funk/dance-pop band, Ripe, the Mario Castro Quintet and numerous other projects. He also performs with his own groups, including the Josh Shpak Band, a cutting-edge modern jazz outfit that incorporates the sounds of rock, electronic and film music with jazz. The band’s debut EP, “ASTATIC,” released in 2015, features artwork by Leigh McCloskey, whose inspired inventiveness has graced the cover of Flying Lotus’ “Cosmogramma” CD and the Rolling Stones’ “Bigger Bang Tour.” In April 2016, the Josh Shpak Band was the featured group at the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Festival.
Among his numerous awards and accolades are being chosen as the second Place Winner of the 2015 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition, selected as one of the four trumpet finalists for the 2012, 2014 and 2016 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, being chosen as a recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, being selected as a jazz finalist for the 2014 National Trumpet Competition, named a 2014 Downbeat Magazine Student Award Winner for Small Ensemble Original Composition for his piece, “LET GO,” receiving a 2013 Downbeat Undergraduate Outstanding Jazz Trumpet Soloist award, being chosen as a resident of the Kennedy Center’s 2013 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program and the 2013 Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, being commissioned to compose music for the 2013 French documentary film, “California Dream 3D,” as well as being named the 2012 Yamaha Young Performing Artists jazz trumpeter, and the 2012 National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts “YoungArts” jazz trumpet winner.
For more information about Josh, please visit: http://www.joshshpak.com/.