Prepare to be captivated, transported, and swept away on an ever-changing journey of musical heaven. Through organic and piece-meal borrowing of jazz, rock, classical, flamenco, and much more, Joshua melds sounds and styles through his critically-acclaimed and ASCAP award-winning music, taking listeners to dizzying heights of sonic splendor that are at once super-charged, and moments later heartbreakingly intimate. Channeling the true emotional unpredictability of the human experience, each piece of music twists and turns as memories are re-imagined, photos brought to life, and experiences reborn.
Following the release of his widely-praised first album, Songs of the Brother Spirit, Joshua and his versatile band Brother Spirit have performed for enthusiastic audiences from coast to coast, garnering national attention and multiple ASCAP Composition awards with 'In Light There Is Song' and 'The Nowhere Trail'. DOWNBEAT Magazine praised Joshua's "mature musical identity' and 'raw emotionality [which] evokes a feeling of yearning for the security and sense of belonging that childhood represents.'
Brother Spirit recently recorded Heartwork, their upcoming album featuring Joshua's latest 8-part work, delving into the human psyche and exploring our true motivations as complex human beings. The music functions as a palindromic story, carrying themes and ideas across multiple textures and changing moods to reflect growth, stumbling, and hope. The recording, due in Spring 2015, involves a diverse array of instruments including the bass-rivaling Contra-Alto Clarinet, cello, a 19th-century field drum and various percussion elements from parts of China.
Originally from Newington, Connecticut, Joshua was drawn to the piano at six years old. His passion and love for creating new music grew and developed when he moved to New York City to pursue Jazz performance and composition at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Although primarily studying the saxophone, Joshua turned back to the piano and began writing as a meditative relief. At the encouragement of musical peers, he began orchestrating his solo piano works for small groups. Continuing his studies at New York University, Joshua founded Brother Spirit as a cohesive unit designed to take the ego out of jazz. Each member took on equal responsibility for the success of the music, similar to a chamber ensemble. The result is a family of musicians whose “common spirit is nothing less than miraculous”, wrote Bill Ballard of the BRATTLEBORO REFORMER. “It was amazing to witness what a group of young and fiercely dedicated musicians can accomplish.”
Joshua has performed as a featured artist across North and South America, including the famed Lincoln Center in New York, Symphony Space, JazzPeru festival in Lima, Peru, Catalina's in Hollywood, California, and much more. He resides in Brooklyn, New York, and is currently writing new works for solo piano.
filmed live at subculture in new york city on 10.14.14
© 2015 Joshua Kwassman
Design: SquarEAST Media
Photography: Chris Klemens
New Release: HEARTWORK
The new Brother Spirit album, an 8-part opus about human struggle, conflict, and self-betterment. Expansive, cinematic pieces twist and turn through emotional worlds to tell a story of conflict and resolution. Available now on SquarEast Records.