“I love connecting with people,” says young trumpeter, Josh Shpak. “Whether they be teenagers or your grandma, if I can see that they’re feeling the music, I’m happy.”
This breaking of generational gaps has become somewhat of a habit for the 21-year-old Berklee College of Music student. With a rich style evident of influences from classic jazz to electronica, Shpak has made himself a wanted commodity in the music world. This cross-generational quality has launched a career playing with jazz heavy-weights, such as Cedar Walton and Jimmy Heath, soul legends Tower of Power, and young cross-over innovators like Esperanza Spalding, Christian Scott and John Daversa.
A protégé of jazz icon Clark Terry, Josh Shpak is dually driven by a great respect for the past, and a drive to put his own mark on the future. “Every great musician in history has been completely present in his or her own time period, while using their knowledge of the tradition to drive their creative forces.”
Among his numerous awards and accolades are being named 1 of the 4 trumpet finalists for the 2012 and 2014 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, being chosen as a recipient of the 2014 ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, being selected as a jazz finalist for the 2014 National Trumpet Competition, named a 2014 Downbeat Magazine Student Award Winner for Small Ensemble Original Composition for his piece, LET GO, receiving a 2013 Downbeat Undergraduate Outstanding Jazz Trumpet Soloist award, being chosen as a resident of the Kennedy Center’s 2013 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program and the 2013 Banff International Workshop in Jazz & Creative Music, being commissioned to compose music for the 2013 French documentary film, “California Dream 3D”, as well as being named the 2012 Yamaha Young Performing Artists jazz trumpeter, and the 2012 National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts “YoungArts” jazz trumpet winner.