Josh Bowlus (Playing the music of Walt Disney)
Joshua Mark Bowlus grew up in Port Orange, FL and was the oldest child of three. As a young child, every time he saw a piano he would run up to it and bang on the keys. Acknowledging his obvious attraction to the instrument, Joshua’s parents started their young child out on the Suzuki method with private lessons at home around age 5. Joshua continued to train classically throughout his childhood and teenage years through private lessons at Stetson University until he began high school. He credits both his high school band director Andrew Kidd and local jazz pianist/teacher Harold Blanchard for sparking his interest in jazz. Noticing his strong passion and dedication to this American art form, his teachers and peers awarded him with the prestigious Louis Armstrong Jazz Award upon graduation. Starting in 2002, Bowlus continued his jazz education at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, studying under pianists Kevin Bales & Keith Javors. The head of UNF jazz and extraordinary alto saxophonist Bunky Green served as Joshua’s primary mentor through his later years in college. Since graduating from UNF in 2006, he has built his career as a jazz pianist while residing in Jacksonville, acting as both a bandleader for his own groups as well as a sideman for various other groups.
Joshua’s musichas allowed him to perform in multiple popular jazz festivals and venues around the country, including the Jacksonville Jazz Fest, the Savannah Jazz Fest, the Monterey Jazz Fest, Kokopelli’s Jazz Club, B-Sharp’s Jazz Cafe, The Jazz Corner, and Iridium Jazz Club in NYC. He has also performed in a number of other locations around the globe, including France, Spain, and China. As the pianist for the UNF Jazz Ensemble One during his college years, the band played a two-week concert tour of China, and was the first jazz big band to perform on the Great Wall of China.
While currently still residing in Jacksonville, Joshua currently performs as the bandleader for The Joshua Bowlus Trio, and plays regularly in local venues such as The Parlour, The Brick, Mudville Music Room, The Volstead, and the Ritz Theatre. He has performed on stage with numerous well-known jazz artists on the scene including Wynton Marsalis, Bunky Green, Christian McBride, Ulysses Owens, Barry Greene, Dennis Marks, Danny Gottlieb, Annie Sellick, John Lee, Yotam Silberstein, Doc Handy, Lisa Kelly, J.B. Scott, Patrick Bartley, Jon Irabagon, Sofija Knezevic, and Christie Dashiell. Bowlus collaborates regularly with singing sensation Linda Cole, who is a family member of the Nat King Cole dynasty. Joshua is also a member of the Jazz Conceptions Orchestra, a NYC-based 9-piece jazz ensemble who so far has released one self-titled album. More recently he has joined the Jax Jazz Collective, a modern jazz sextet which attempts to blend multiple jazz influences and flavors into one mosaic. Joshua has recorded as a sideman with many other celebrated musicians on their own projects, including tenor saxophonist John Ricci, drummer Ben Adkins, electric bassist Jon Reshard, fusion guitarist Greg Howe, drummer Larry Wilson, vocalist Carter Calvert, alto saxophonist Daniel Dickinson, and world-renowned drummer Dave Weckl.
Joshua has developed his own unique voice in the jazz world, and so far has released his first official album as a bandleader as a collaboration with vocalist Linda Cole under his own record label, J-Bo Records. In addition, he has co-produced and released two albums with the Jax Jazz Collective under the same label. Bowlus currently resides in Jacksonville, and performs locally and regionally as a freelance pianist.