Joshua Redman is one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the decade of the 1990s. Born in Berkeley, California, he is the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff. He was exposed at an early age to a variety of musics (jazz, classical, rock, soul, Indian, Indonesian, Middle-Eastern, African) and instruments (recorder, piano, guitar, gatham, gamelan), and began playing clarinet at age nine before switching to what became his primary instrument, the tenor saxophone, one year later. The early influences of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley and his father, Dewey Redman, as well as The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince, The Police and Led Zeppelin drew Joshua more deeply into music. But although Joshua loved playing the saxophone and was a dedicated member of the award-winning Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and Combo from 1983-86, academics were always his first priority, and he never seriously considered becoming a professional musician.
In 1991 Redman graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Social Studies. He had already been accepted by Yale Law School, but deferred entrance for what he believed was only going to be one year. Some of his friends (former students at the Berklee College of Music whom Joshua had met while in Boston) had recently relocated to Brooklyn, and they were looking for another housemate to help with the rent. Redman accepted their invitation to move in, and almost immediately he found himself immersed in the New York jazz scene. He began jamming and gigging regularly with some of the leading jazz musicians of his generation: Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Kevin Hays, Roy Hargrove, Geoff Keezer, Leon Parker, Jorge Rossy and Mark Turner (to name just a few). In November of that year, five months after moving to New York, Redman was named the winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. This was only one of the more visible highlights from a year that saw Redman beginning to tour and record with jazz masters such as his father, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Elvin Jones, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, and Clark Terry. For Joshua, this was a period of tremendous growth, invaluable experience and endless inspiration.
Now fully committed to a life in music, Redman was quickly signed by Warner Bros. Records and issued his first, self-titled album in the spring of 1993, which subsequently earned Redman his first Grammy nomination. That fall saw the release of Wish, where Joshua was joined by the all-star cast of Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins. He toured extensively with Metheny throughout the latter half of that year. His next recording, MoodSwing, was released in 1994, and it introduced his first permanent band, which included three other young musicians who have gone on to become some of the most important and influential artists in modern jazz: pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. A later edition of this ensemble included guitarist Peter Bernstein, pianist Peter Martin, bassist Chris Thomas and Blade. Over a series of celebrated recordings including Spirit of the Moment/Live at the Village Vanguard, Freedom in the Groove and Timeless Tales (for Changing Times), Redman established himself as one of the music’s most consistent and successful bandleaders, and added soprano and alto saxophones to his instrumental arsenal. Joshua’s second acclaimed quartet, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, was formed in 1998 and made its recorded debut on the 2000 album Beyond. The dynamic interplay and uncommon rapport of this group inspired Redman to write and record his first long-form composition, Passage of Time, which was released in 2001.
A year later, Redman began to channel his jazz sensibilities through new instrumentation and formed The Elastic Band, a flexible, electrified, groove-based trio built on an ongoing collaboration with keyboardist Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade. The band debuted on the 2002 releases yaya3 and Elastic. Drummer Jeff Ballard began to play regularly with the Elastic Band later that year, and he (along with Blade and Yahel) played a central role in their next recording, the Grammy-nominated Momentum, which was released in 2005 to inaugurate Redman’s affiliation with Nonesuch Records, and featured a diverse and exciting lineup of special guests.
In 2000, Redman was named Artistic Director for the Spring Season of the non-profit jazz-presenting organization SFJAZZ. Redman and SFJAZZ Executive Director Randall Kline had an idea that The New York Times called a “eureka moment”; the creation of the SFJAZZ Collective, an ensemble distinguished both by the creativity of its members and a unique primary emphasis on composition. Inaugurated in 2004, the eight-piece band consists of a multi-generational cast of accomplished musicians. The Collective’s repertoire features both commissioned works and new arrangements of the work of great modern jazz composers. In March 2007, Redman announced that he was taking a hiatus from both the SFJAZZ Artistic Directorship and the SFJAZZ Collective in order to focus on new projects.
The following month, Nonesuch released Redman’s first ever piano-less trio record, Back East, featuring Joshua alongside three stellar bass and drum rhythm sections (Larry Grenadier & Ali Jackson, Christian McBride & Brian Blade, Reuben Rogers & Eric Harland) and three very special guest saxophonists (Chris Cheek, Joe Lovano and Dewey Redman). On Compass, released in January 2009 (Nonesuch), Joshua continues to explore the expansive trio format, and with a group of collaborators as intrepid as he is – bassists Larry Grenadier and Reuben Rogers, and drummers Brian Blade and Gregory Hutchinson – Redman literally and figuratively stretches the shape of the trio approach; on the most audacious of these tunes, he performs with the entire lineup in a double-trio setting.
Starting in late 2009, Joshua began performing with a new collaborative band called James Farm featuring pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. The band infuses traditional acoustic jazz quartet instrumentation with a progressive attitude and modern sound, and has been met with rave reviews across the globe.
In May 2013, Redman released Walking Shadows (Nonesuch), a collection of vintage and contemporary ballads produced by his friend and frequent collaborator Brad Mehldau. This is Redman’s first recording to include an orchestral ensemble and includes a core ensemble of Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Brian Blade on drums. About Walking Shadows, The New York Times says “there hasn’t been a more sublimely lyrical gesture in his 20-year recording career.”
Readying an album and a tour with The Bad Plus, Redman also hits the road with his own trio, performing music from his latest album, Trios Live. Recorded at Jazz Standard and Blues Alley with longtime collaborators, drummer Gregory Hutchinson and bassists Matt Penman and Reuben Rogers (respectively), Trios Live features four original tunes by Redman and interpretations of others. As All About Jazz raves, “Redman’s definitely got the fire and burns hot as coals in Trios Live which captures the essence of his unbridled abilities as musician and performer.”
In addition to his own projects, Redman has recorded and performed with musicians such as Brian Blade, Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band, Jack DeJohnette, Bill Frisell, Aaron Goldberg, Larry Goldings, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Roy Haynes, Billie Higgins, Milt Jackson, Elvin Jones, Quincy Jones, Big Daddy Kane, Geoff Keezer, B.B. King, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, DJ Logic, Joe Lovano, Yo Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Christian McBride, John Medeski, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, Paul Motian, MeShell Ndegeocello, Leon Parker, Nicholas Payton, John Psathas, Simon Rattle, Dewey Redman, Dianne Reeves, Melvin Rhyne, The Rolling Stones, The Roots, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Scofield, Soulive, String Cheese Incident, Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Mark Turner, McCoy Tyner, Umphrey’s McGee, US3, Bugge Wesseltoft, Cedar Walton, Stevie Wonder and Sam Yahel. Joshua Redman has been nominated for 2 Grammys and has garnered top honors in critics and readers polls of DownBeat, Jazz Times, The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. He wrote and performed the music for Louis Malle’s final film Vanya on 42nd Street, and is both seen and heard in the Robert Altman film Kansas City.
Branford Marsalis Quartet, Kurt Elling, Antonio Sanchez, Joshua Redman ECHO Jazz Nominations Announced — February 9, 2017, ECHOJazz.de
This year's ECHO Jazz Awards ceremony, broadcast on NDR, will take place at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg on June 1, 2017.
Brooklyn Rider rivets attention at Rockport - January 27, 2017, The Boston Globe
"Each phrase of Philip Glass’s String Quartet No. 3, “Mishima,” rolled and receded in a swell of sound. Four large window panes made up most of the rear wall behind the musicians, and just as it was possible to focus attention through a single pane or all four at once to see the larger vista, it was possible to either follow a single instrument’s journey or sit back to take in the quartet’s full sound."
Celebrate Grammys 2017 with nominees Branford Marsalis Quartet, Kurt Elling, Joshua Redman, Blind Boys of Alabama, John Beasley — December 3, 2016, Los Angeles Times
Nearness' by Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau 'defines what jazz sounds like today'– September 12, 2016, Wall Street Journal
“Few records released this year better define what jazz sounds like today, even if there isn’t a hip noun to describe it… ‘Nearness’ is an impressive work that showcases two active minds smartly updating classics. Now, if only they’d devise a buzzword for their style.”
Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau: Nearness review - terse lyricism and harmonic journeys – September 8, 2016, The Guardian
“Always lyrical, the music nonetheless sometimes sounds at the edge of a precipice – it’s improv in the most exposed of situations.”
Joshua Redman Quarter Embarks on Summer Tour– June 14, 2016, Nonesuch
“Redman has consistently raised his own creative bar.”
Joshua Redman's James Farm project wins an Echo Award for Best International Ensemble - April 19th, 2016
Addition of Joshua Redman makes the Bad Plus even more formidable at the Gem Theater - Kansas City Star, April 17th, 2016
"The foursome delivered a convincing manifesto on the infinite possibilities of jazz."
Elkhart Jazz Festival 2016: Joshua Redman to be featured artist at the Lerner Theatre on opening night - The Elkhart Truth, March 6, 2016
Ha Miles Davis a jazz Picassója, akkor Oláh Kálmán a jazz Oláh Kálmánja - Playliszt (Hungary), February 17, 2016
James Farm, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman Nominated for ECHO Jazz Awards - February 10, 2016
Jam Central Station: Umphrey’s McGee – House of Blues – Cleveland, OH - 411 Mania, February 6, 2016
Saunders: Joshua Redman, Wallace Roney keep Denver jazz scene busy this month - Denver Post, January 10, 2016
The playlist: best jazz of 2015 – Kamasi Washington, Joshua Redman, Polar Bear and more - The Guardian, December 31, 2015
Favorite Jazz Albums of 2015 - Westword, December 30, 2015
**Joshua Redman Nominated for Grammy Award**- December 7, 2015
"Joshua Redman has been nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for his tune "Friend or Foe" from the self-titled debut album from The Bad Plus Joshua Redman."
Grand total: The Bad Plus adds Joshua Redman for a unique show at Outpost - Albuquerque Journal, December 6, 2015
Bad Plus Joshua Redman a heady musical pairing - The San Diego Union-Tribune, December 3, 2015
"The veteran jazz-and-beyond trio and saxophone star are on tour in support of their first joint album. They perform Tuesday at the Music Box downtown."
Joshua Redman joins up with The Bad Plus for concert - Arizona Daily Star, December 2, 2015
"One of the loudest “aha!” moments in jazz this century was when saxophonist Joshua Redman first stepped onstage with the eclectic jazz trio The Bad Plus. That was in 2011 at the Blue Note in New York City."
Joshua Redman returns to his roots - San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 2015
Concert review | The Bad Plus Joshua Redman: Individual talents shine- Dispatch, October 21, 2015
"...As the quartet illustrated in the Wexner Center’s Performance Space on Tuesday night during the first of two sold-out shows, the name is more than a pun. It is designed to describe an uncommon singularity among its members..."
Bennett and Gaga, Snarky Puppy and The Bad Plus/Joshua Redman top triumphant Umbria Jazz Festival - JazzWise, August 7, 2015
Blue Notes: Joshua Redman's collaboration with The Bad Plus is a good plus - South China Morning Post, June 27, 2015
Bad Plus make for good listening at Victoria’s JazzFest - Times Colonist, June 23, 2015
The Bad Plus and Joshua Redman shine in rare collaboration - Philadelphia Inquirer, June 16, 2015
l In The Family: Father-Son Pairings In Jazz - NPR, June 19, 2015
Review: The Bad Plus Joshua Redman - The Times, June 19, 2015
The Bad Plus, plus sax man Joshua Redman, to play Jazz Alley - The Seattle Times, June 12, 2015.
Review: The Bad Plus Joshua Redman @ Jennings Landing, 6/11/15 - Times Union, June 11, 2015
Review: 'The Bad Plus Joshua Redman,' Joshua Redman & The Bad Plus - NPR, June 10, 2015
The Bad Plus Joshua Redman review – challenging, imaginative collaboration - The Guardian, June 4, 2015
Review: Joshua Redman Joins the Bad Plus in a Chemistry Experiment - The New York Times, May 26 2015
Album Review: Joshua Redman and the Bad Plus, ‘The Bad Plus Joshua Redman’ - The Boston Globe, May 25 2015
Blowing a powerful horn for the IRC: Acclaimed jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman visits Myanmar - April 30, 2015
"In 2011, The Bad Plus invited saxophonist Joshua Redman to join them for a week of enthusiastically received performances at the Blue Note in New York City. They then played a handful of dates before heading into the studio last year to record their debut album, The Bad Plus Joshua Redman, which Nonesuch releases on May 26, 2015 (June 8 outside of North America)." [read more]
The Bad Plus Joshua Redman Debut Recording Due May 26 on Nonesuch - April 11, 2015
"Joshua Redman, one of the world’s most acclaimed jazz saxophone players, is constantly touring with his ensemble, moving from city to city, stage to stage, entertaining audiences with his unique sound. But when he visited Myanmar (also known as Burma), not as a musician but as a representative of the IRC, Redman experienced a different sort of vibe...." [read more]
Joshua Redman Nominated for ECHO Jazz Award - February 19, 2015
Joshua Redman has been nomintated for International Instrumentalist of the year, in the Saxophone/Woodwinds category, for Trios Live. See full list of nominees.
NY Times: "A Skill Set Wired For Direct Connection" - October 30th, 2014
The Joshua Redman Trio, featuring Reuben Rogers on bass and Gregory Hutchinson on drums, which can be heard on his new album, Trios Live, plays a six-night run at NYC's Village Vanguard October 28–November 2...[read more]
Civil Rights era jazz inspires Joshua Redman - Aug 25th, 2014
From The Windsor Star Civil Rights era jazz inspires Joshua Redman By: Ted Shaw It was a time when jazz, like society, changed forever. The music that came out of the American Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s...[read more]
Joshua Redman on the issues that face jazz musicians - Aug 20th, 2014
From The Detroit Free Press Saxophonist Joshua Redman on the issues that face jazz musicians By: Mark Stryker Tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman has been a star since he burst onto the jazz scene in his early 20s, winning the Thelonious Monk competition in 1991...[read more]