"Fire in velvet. A fitting description of Joshua Breakstone's jazz guitar," wrote Paul Weidman in The Sante Fe New Mexican. "His flowing lines on up-tempo cookers are impeccably clean and fiery, bearing the mark of a first-rate improviser, while his chordal work on heartbreaker ballads is the final word in finesse," has raved Guitar Player magazine. Japan's Jazz Hihyo (aka Jazz Critique) recognizes that "The style in which Joshua develops his fluid single-note solos used to be thought of as the Grant Green school, but now this man leads the school." Downbeat also has written that "There is no shortage of young, knock-out jazz guitarists about us these days. And Joshua Breakstone is among the best of them."
Joshua Breakstone was born July 22, 1955 in Elizabeth, NJ. Through his music loving parents he was exposed to Broadway shows, Broadway show cast recordings, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Through his older sisters he was exposed to all kinds of other music- including jazz and rock and roll. "My sister Jill worked for the light show at The Fillmore East where I could hear all the bands regularly, especially my then-favorites Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa."
"I picked up the guitar around the time I was 14 and began playing with an interesting high school group called Moon Unit which consisted of guitar, bass, drums, organ, and flute. It wasn't your typical late sixties rock and roll instrumentation. I was exposed to jazz regularly as a kid, but it never caught my ear until I heard Lee Morgan. Lee's sound was exciting and made me want to hear more jazz. The first jazz people who turned me on were trumpet players, then I heard Charlie Parker."
"The fire of Lee Morgan played with grabbed me immediately," he says, "and the way both he and Clifford Brown fully articulated each note has been an ideal toward which I work with regard to the sound I try and get on the guitar. When I heard Bird, I knew I wanted to play like him in the sense of playing things which are meaningful, emotional, and, more than anything else, irresistibly beautiful. The guitar is a real challenge because it tends to be a very visual instrument and lends itself to patterns. In a way, I try and get away from the guitar and into the world where music exists in and of itself, where ideas, articulation and sound exist apart and away from the instrument."