BIOGRAPHY | Josh Shpak

“I love connecting with people,” says young trumpeter, 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 23-year- old Berklee College of Music student.  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.  This cross-generational quality has launched a career playing with jazz heavy-weights, such as George Garzone, Dave Liebman and Jimmy Heath, soul legends Tower of Power, young cross-over innovators like Casey Benjamin, Nir Felder and John Daversa, and pop/opera superstar, Josh Groban, on his Grammy-nominated CD, "STAGES LIVE", and PBS TV Special, "STAGES".

 

A protégé of jazz icon Clark Terry, Josh Shpak is dually driven by a great respect for the past, and a drive 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.”

Josh is currently a member of Boston-based rock/funk/dance-pop band, RIPE, acoustic world-jazz ensemble, THE AFFINITY QUARTET, the MARIO CASTRO QUINTET, and numerous other projects.  He also performs with his own group, 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 late-summer 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”.  And, in April 2016, the Josh Shpak Band was the featured group at the Monterey Jazz Festival's "Next Generation Jazz Festival.

 

Among Josh Shpak's numerous awards and accolades are being named the 2017 Downbeat Magazine Undergraduate Jazz Soloist Winner, 2nd Place Winner of the 2015 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition, 1 of 4 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 & 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.

 

Josh plays a Harrelson Summit trumpet, a Yamaha 8310Z Shew trumpet, and a CarolBrass CFL-6200-GSS-SLB flugelhorn.