Born: May 20, 1986 Primary Instrument: Drums
Joshua was born in London into a musical family on May 20th 1986. He was constantly surrounded by music and by the end of Primary school Joshua was studying Clarinet, Orchestral Percussion and teaching himself Drum Kit.
Growing up in Derbyshire, Joshua attended County Youth Orchestras, Wind Bands and Jazz Bands throughout secondary school, with opportunities for European travel and the highlight of performing in Japan.
Joshua was playing professionally by the age of 15 with his quartet ‘Midnight Blue’. These concerts provided opportunities to perform alongside headline acts from London. Joshua was able to hear and meet many of his future colleagues (Tom Cawley (Curios), Tom Herbert (Polar Bear, The Invisible), Dave O’Higgins (Kyle Eastwood Band), Gilad Atzmon (Sarah Gillespie band) and Gerard Presencer.
Studying drum kit with Malcolm Garrett at Birmingham Conservatoire Junior School at aged 16 encouraged Joshua to set his sights high. He then attended Royal Academy of Music Junior Jazz department a year later under the guidance of Nick Smart. Joshua then won a place on the prestigious Jazz degree programme whereby only one Drummer is taken every year and studied drums with Martin France.
Joshua graduated in 2008 from the Royal Academy of Music with BMus (1st Class Hons.) also gaining his L.R.A.M. and being awarded the Benjamin Doniger prize.
In 2006 Joshua was an incipient member of the Piano Trio ‘Curios’ who won BBC Radio 3 Jazz Line up Best Band at the Jazz awards 2008. They await the release, and Launch at South Bank Purcell Rooms, of their third album in March 2010, along with a 15 date UK/European tour. This will serve to widen their rapidly growing fan base already underpinned by events such as supporting Wayne Shorter Quartet at the Barbican in 2008 and extensively touring throughout UK and Europe including the North Sea, 12 points and London Jazz Festivals. “Curios are now poised to be launched to a worldwide audience. Intricate, witty and profoundly musical, Curios have become, within two albums, the most formidable piano trio in the UK” MOJO magazine.
In 2007 Joshua co-founded Troyka (Ones to watch out for Jazzwise ‘09) with fellow RAM students Chris Montague (James Taylor Quartet) and Kit Downes (Empirical). June '09 saw the release of their debut album ‘Troyka’ on Edition Records, to rave reviews and a Jazzwise magazine full feature, August '09. Recently cited as one of Jamie Cullum’s favourites they have been voted by Jazzwise readers as No.8 in the Top 100 CD's of this year. Troyka have played at Ronnie Scott's, Pizza Express, 606 and Vortex Jazz clubs and all around the UK. Having supported Polar Bear (Mercury Music Prize winners) at the Jazz Café to a sold out audience (Nov ’09) Edition records are now negotiating a substantial tour in 2010. “Troyka are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with; like King Crimson for the iPod generation”. Time Out
In summer 2009 Joshua Joined forces with DJ Hip-Hop artist Floating Points to form the Floating Points Ensemble and recorded a BBC Radio 1 Gilles Peterson feature at Maida Vale studios. Floating points and the ensemble have had releases via Eglo, Planet mu, Ubiquity, XL and Brownswood records, some of which feature Joshua’s drum samples. They have had heavy support from Radio 1 DJs such as Gilles Peterson, Mary Anne Hobbs, Rob Da Bank and Benji B. In February 2010 Joshua will be appearing the Floating Points Ensemble at the World Wide Awards and at London’s Cargo club.
Joshua regularly tours with the Sarah Gillespie quartet (“A leftfield singer songwriter... wry lyrics and sinuous melodies.” Mojo) and is due to record the new album in Jan ’10 with UK wide Tour. Joshua recently finished a residency at the West End Leicester Square Theatre with American comedienne Sandra Burnhard. Joshua has recorded in USA, having won the funding in a competition, with saxophonist Seamus Blake. He has toured with Gerard Presencer, Martin Speake, Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, Dave O’Higgins (Hong Kong and Sri Lanka) and with Tim Ries, of Rolling Stones, at Ronnie Scotts and the London Astoria. Joshua is also committed to working in education and teaches regularly for Brent Council. In December 2009 Joshua signed onto the Roland Artist Scheme to endorse their products.
Awards:BBC radio 3 jazz line up best band 2008
BK Drummer Magazine:
“Seriously funky grooves courtesy of Blackmore…It’s dirty noisy and needs to be in your collection.”
“Tricksy beat manipulator”
“Blackmore very much the contemporary drummer, drawing as easily on hip-hop and drum'n'bass-type beats as on more conventional jazz rhythms, considerably enlivening the whole band sound in the process.”
Martin Longely BBC:
“Blackmore's drum patterns are highly detailed”
Daniel Spicer Jazzwise:
“...calling on Blackmore to use considerable skills and confidence in navigating intricate clockwork constructions full of treacherous twists and turns, devious time signatures and oddly off-kilter grooves ………Blackmore enjoys the freedom to improvise within the rigid structures, one moments urging the trio on, the next holding back behind the beat with a laconic, almost sarcastic insouciance. Cerebral without being self-conscious, playful without seeming glib, this fine debut is simply bursting with intelligence and wit.”
“...with Blackmore’s subtly detailed drumming a particular delight…to roaming around his kit in a display of controlled exuberance. Throughout the album Blackmore skilfully deploys the full sonic capabilities of his kit, using sticks and brushes, skins and rims, and exhibits a sublime touch at the cymbals. He seems to throw the whole kitchen sink into “The Tiling Song”. Blackmore gets better every time I see him”
“Young Derby drummer Josh Blackmore puts the group up with the world-class practitioners of this intricate and intimate kind of jazz…bumpy tatoos, hi-hat hisses and intensifying drama turn into miniature epics.”
The Other Place
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Willing to teach:
Currently teaching for Brent Music Service.
Available for private lessons. £30ph