Born: March 19, 1969
Josh Workman began playing guitar at age 10 and by the tender age of 13 was already out performing in the smoke-filled bars of San Francisco’s infamous North Beach. While still underage, he spent many nights hiding out in the back rooms of these clubs, as the venue owners tried to conceal him from the beat cops patrolling the area. At times, Josh’s school teachers would come watch him perform into the wee-hours, always wondering if he would be too tired to make it to class the next morning. Through his high school years, Josh attended the School of the Arts during the day, all the while continuing to perform and record at night and on weekends. Some of his earliest guitar teachers included Ray Scott, Tuck Andress (Tuck & Patti), Dave Creamer and Bruce Foreman....
AwardsInternational Association of Jazz Educators Blue Chip Award - among the top four instrumentals of 2004
...genuine integrity and soul on each and every track...['Jumpin' At The Border'] is one of the most enjoyable albums I have heard so far this year and I would recommend it to anyone. --Joe Knipes, Jazz Improv Magazine
An ambitious effort...some well--played jazz. --John Ephland, DownBeat Magazine
...a phenomenal musician...Workman's rich CD contexts and amazing performances serve as inspirational examples for jazz guitarists young and old. It is a spectacular maiden voyage. --Dr. Herb Wong, Jazz Education Journal (Blue Chip Award -- among the top four instrumentals of 2004)
Even the most talented musician can have a tough time presenting a variety of styles on a single CD. There's always the danger of turning the recording into a hodgepodge that satisfies no one, no matter how dazzling the individual numbers. Bay Area jazz guitarist Josh Workman solved this puzzle with flair on his 2004 release, Jumpin' at the Border, his first as a leader. The CD showcases Workman's ability to plug into bebop, Brazilian, blues, Latin and gypsy jazz. The solution is the pulsing energy that sweeps through every track, in every style, and unifies the proceedings. --Jerry Karp, San Francisco Chronicle (read full interview)
...a great talent...[Josh Workman] can clearly burn -- and his clear tone and crisp articulation are constants in his playing...an excellent player with a fine band. --Jason Bivins, Cadence Magazine
...as good as it gets...Workman proves a traditionalist who's not afraid to kick it up a little. --Vintage Guitar Magazine
...indeed a highlight of this year. --All About Jazz
This is a delightful set with guitarist Josh Workman displaying impressive versatility...easily recommended and thoroughly enjoyable... --Scott Yanow, Los Angeles Jazz Scene (December 2004 issue)
...a smooth-as-silk jazz guitarist with an ear for Latin grooves... --Hispanic Magazine
It's a fun 72 minutes...Four--stars --The Montreal Gazette (Canada)
...Workman's playing which, regardless of style, demonstrates a devotion to authenticity, while at the same time staying approachable and consistently engaging. --All About Jazz
Workman is an unusual talent...a true all-rounder and a good time guitarist... --Jack Massarik, Jazzwise Magazine (UK)
'Jumpin' At The Border' is an always--swinging, eclectic collection of dynamic performances...This is an impressive debut that is another good reason to return to the City by the Bay --Joseph Blake, The Times Colonist (Victoria, B.C.)
Jumpin' At the BorderTetrachord Music
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students
I have been teaching for twenty years, back in New York and here in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to my own studio, my teaching includes classes at San Francisco State, Jazz Camp West, Blue Bear School of American Music, clinics all over the U.S. w/ the Hot Club of San Francisco, and about seven years worth of lesson articles for Guitar Player and other magazines.
A couple of the classes that I enjoy teaching are: BEBOP SOLOING FOR GUITAR, Josh Workman, beg-int; This class introduces a set of tools that, though rooted in bebop, will help students develop strong phrasing in any musical style. Students will receive a checklist of important areas to develop over the long-term, such as scales, intervals, arpeggios, and spelling out 4-note chords. Our main focus will be simple melodic and rhythmic devices to add color and motion to your soloing. We will mostly deal with major scale harmony, but just about all these exercises can be applied to minor, modal and symmetrical harmony, as well. All exercises will be printed out in notes and tablature. SOLO GUITAR: NOT AS HARD AS YOU THINK! Josh Workman, int/adv. We’ll explore several solo guitar techniques, such as grabbing melody notes above common chord shapes, how to alter the color tones of 4- note chords in any inversion, simultaneously walking bass and playing chords, and the lush, use of connecting inversions with diminished chords, referred to as “locked hands” or “block chord” soloing by pianists and popularized on guitar by Wes Montgomery. These techniques will also improve your accompaniment skills, either in a duo or in a group, and help you interact with pianists. All exercises will be printed out in notes and tablature or chord frames.
-Thomastik-Infeld George Benson strings -John Mello acoustic