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Joshua Smith is a saxophonist/multi instrumentalist residing in the San Francisco Bay area. He has been playing for the past 20 years with a Who's Who of creative music, starting in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio at the age of 16 as a member of an envelope-pushing avant garde jazz trio led by drummer Leland Scotty Davis. Joshua has lead a vivid performance life in the arena of  forward thinking jazz through performing with players like Joe Lovano, Joe Maneri, Cuong Vu, (of The Pat Metheny Group), Chris Jonas, trumpet legend Nate Wooley, Trevor Dunn, Todd Sickafoose, Myra Melford, Scott Amendola, Ben Goldberg, and drummer Carmen Castaldi in addition to many other notable players... In addition Smith toured internationally and recorded with his well-loved trio, "birth" with bassist Jeremy Bleich and drummer Joe Tomino, which performed for many years before Smith departed for the West coast in 2004. Since relocating to the Bay Area, Joshua has performed with stalwart new music composer, Dan Plonsey playing in his famed Daniel Popsicle Ensemble and other projects of Dan's... He's also been a member of The Scott Amendola Quartet for the last five years, and performed with guitar luminary Nels Cline, at John Zorn's NYC venue, The Stone.

 

In addition to a life of playing envelope-pushing new music, Joshua has also consistently performed and gig in the straight-ahead jazz realm. His sidemen are the best of the Bay Area, and he has played countless concerts and private events in the straight-ahead arena. Growing up, Smith began gigging at a very early age with older jazzmen of his hometown, Cleveland, Ohio... He was a member of "Greg Bandy's Young Lions'" and studied under saxophone iconoclast Ernie Krivda and received the highest available talent scholarship to attend Manhattan School Of Music where he studied with saxophonist Bob Mintzer. 

He's also performed with funk drumming legend Clyde Stubblefield, toured as a member of The Youngblood Brass Band, and bluegrass legends Blaine Sprouse and Peter Rowan...

Joshua was music director and contributing composer to the "Leave Me Alone" opera, an avant grade jazz opera written by Smith's good friend Harvey Pekar, performed at Oberlin College. He has released several records on his own with various groups and as a sideman. He is featured
alongside bass icon Bill Laswell on a recent recording and is currently preparing to release a reunion album with his band, birth.

Smith has also held a long running roster of private saxophone students, (including several who have gone on to become notable professionals) and conducted well-received improvisation lectures at UC Berkeley, and conducted many improvisation workshops in the US and in Europe including SUNY Fredonia, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cuyahoga Community College, and several others...