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Josh Nelson

Pianist and composer Josh Nelson maintains an active and creative schedule. He has performed with some of the most respected names in jazz, including Natalie Cole, Anthony Wilson, George Mraz, Jeff Hamilton, Walter Smith III, Dayna Stephens, Alicia Olatuja, Eddie Daniels, Ken Peplowski, Richard Galliano, Michael Buble, Benny Golson, Sheila Jordan, Greg Hutchinson, John Clayton, Seamus Blake, Matt Wilson, Sara Gazarek, Dave Koz, Joe Chambers, Kurt Elling, John Pizzarelli, and Lewis Nash.

Josh has performed around the world and recorded for numerous albums, films, and TV shows, but also makes time for his own projects: "Anticipation" (2004) and "Let it Go" (2007, Native Language Music) both garnered international critical acclaim. Josh’s third album, "I Hear a Rhapsody" (2009), featured his original compositions, standard interpretations, and re-imagining of some popular repertoire. "Discoveries" (2011), introduced a pairing of classic science fiction ephemera with new compositions for a brass and wind ensemble (featuring a live ongoing video projection and art installation component as well, called The Discovery Project). "Exploring Mars"(2015) explored musical themes on the Red Planet, along with spectacular NASA/JPL Martian video footage. "Dream in the Blue" (2016) documented Josh in an intimate duo setting with his longtime collaborator, vocalist Sara Gazarek. "The Sky Remains" (2017) delved into musical stories and themes originating from his hometown of Los Angeles. "The Discovery Project Live in Japan" (2020) is a live trio album, and received wonderful reviews. His latest release will drop in September of 2021, "live at bluewhale | Volume 1", It's a sentimental tribute to an amazing venue in Los Angeles which was forced to closed during the pandemic.

Josh has earned many awards, scholarships and accolades over the years, some of which include the Louis Armstrong Award and the John Philip Sousa Award. In 2006, Josh was one of only twelve semi-finalists in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.

Josh toured the world for 6 beautiful years with the legendary vocalist Natalie Cole. He continues to tour with artists Nicolas Bearde, Kenny Washington, Lorca Hart, Anton Schwartz, Allison Adams Tucker, Kathleen Grace, Gaby Moreno, Alicia Olatuja, Tom Scott, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Christian Howes.


Louis Armstrong Award, John Philip Sousa Award, numerous "Outstanding Soloist Awards" at music competitions from around the country. $10,000 Tom Talbert Scholarship. Josh has also been a member of many honor groups, including the SCSBOA Honor Jazz Band, the SCSBOA All- Stars, and the Grammy Band. Josh was one of only 12 semi-finalists in the prestigious International Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition which was held in Washington D.C. in 2006.


Yamaha S-400B, Nord (Clavia) Electro 2, 3


Album Review

Judy Whitmore: Come Fly with Me

Read "Come Fly  with Me" reviewed by Jack Bowers

When the multi-talented Judy Whitmore sings “Come Fly with Me," it is an invitation that is almost impossible to resist, especially as the lovely and charming vocalist is also a pilot who is licensed to fly anything from jets to seaplanes to hot air balloons. On her latest album, backed by a big band and twenty-six member string section with arrangements by Hollywood top gun Chris Walden, Whitmore beckons listeners to fly with her to romantic places around the world ...

Album Review

Ann Hampton Callaway: Finding Beauty. Originals. Volume 1

Read "Finding Beauty. Originals. Volume 1" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci

"This is my most personal record," Callaway says. “Throughout my career, I've loved singing the great jazz classics and selections from the Great American Songbook, but I've always snuck my original songs on various projects. The pandemic made me think, 'I don't know if I'll live through this, but if I do, what's at the top of my bucket list?' And I realized that I wanted to tell my story and share the deepest part of me. What better way ...

Liner Notes

Jun Iida: Evergreen

Read "Jun Iida: Evergreen" reviewed by Gary Fukushima

They are everywhere, dotting the undulating terrain of the great Pacific Northwest, from the winding, twisting shorelines of Puget Sound to the mountains that rise in the distance in every direction: the Olympics to the west, the Cascades to the east, Mt. Baker to the north and the majestic Rainier to the south. The trees are a constant, comforting blanket over this land, ever-present, ever-green. Jun lida has called this place home for the past three years, another ...

Album Review

Jun Iida: Evergreen

Read "Evergreen" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Evergreen from trumpeter/flugelhornist Jun Iida is a textural panorama of multi-cultural jazz flavors, offering original and known fare. Each of the ten tracks is a portrait, and they display fine solo and ensemble playing. To describe Evergreen in one word is to call it “intriguing." “Gooey Butter Cake," one of six originals from Iida, opens things in a jovial, hippity-hop, jny: New Orleans-esque groove which develops into a trumpet-bass solo ride, with solos following from pianist Josh Nelson ...

Liner Notes

Josh Nelson: LA Stories: Live at Sam First

Read "Josh Nelson: LA Stories: Live at Sam First" reviewed by Robert Petersen

Josh Nelson's LA Stories: Live at Sam First was recorded in February 2022 at Sam First, which has quickly become the heartbeat of L.A.'s jazz community. With this album, Nelson continues a love letter to Los Angeles he began with his 2017 release, The Sky Remains, which was part of his Discovery Project multimedia series. In a city where history is too often forgotten, Nelson puts it center stage. In “Tiburcio," Nelson conjures the life of the 19th ...

Album Review

Angie Wells: Truth Be Told

Read "Truth Be Told" reviewed by Dave Linn

Angie Wells grew up in Philadelphia, surrounded by music. Her mother sang and played gospel piano, while her father was a devoted jazz and blues fan. The music of Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Jack McDuff and B.B. King, to name a few, could be heard on any day in her childhood home. At the age of five, Count Basie came to her school and played for her kindergarten class. The music seed had been planted. Later, she sang when and ...

Liner Notes

Christian Howes & Richard Galliano: Southern Exposure

Read "Christian Howes & Richard Galliano: Southern Exposure" reviewed by Howard Mandel

Christian Howes wants you to know that Southern Exposure is not simply another violin and accordion record, some light-hearted evocation of Parisian café music. “It's deeper than that," Howes, the 40-year-old violinist who is also an educator and online entrepreneur, says of his 13th album (counting self-produced projects from the 1990s). “I think there's a lot of passion on the record. There's a sort of tragic feel to some of it. “It's distinguished by the fact ...

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“Josh is that rare young musician who has not only a wealth of study and experience under his belt (all but assuring him a prominent place in jazz music), but he also possesses those rarest of musical attributes: a touch, a tone, and a “sound” that are all identifiably his own.” — Peter Erskine, legendary drummer

“Wonders never cease here, as Nelson's imagination carries us to unexpected places and uncovers topics and stories hidden in the mists and mortar of Los Angeles... he paints subtle gestures, sophisticated thoughts, and broad strokes…the end result is a work that speaks to an arranger's mind, a songwriter's sensibility, and a historian's eye… It's more than enough to keep the mind and emotions busy and happy.” —All About Jazz

“An impressionistic musical look at facets of L.A., this will open your ears to a jazzy, L.A. you probably never considered.” – Midwest Record

Jazz Review January 2008 By Paul J. Youngman

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Los Angeles

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Clinic/Workshop Information

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Come Fly with Me

Self Produced


Sextet Session

Self Produced


Inner Path



Truth Be Told

Cafe Pacific Records


LA Stories: Live at...

Sam First Records



OA2 Records


Gooey Butter Cake

From: Evergreen
By Josh Nelson

Sister Moon

From: Smile
By Josh Nelson

For What It's Worth

From: Social Anthems, Volume 1
By Josh Nelson

Bridges and Tunnels

From: The Sky Remains
By Josh Nelson

Small Hotel

From: In2uition
By Josh Nelson

Tango Doblado (Bent Tango)

From: Southern Exposure
By Josh Nelson

Bhutto Song

From: I Hear a Rhapsody
By Josh Nelson


From: Discoveries
By Josh Nelson



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