JOSHUA REDMAN is one of the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artists to have emerged in the decade of the 1990s. Born in Berkeley, California, he is the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff. He was exposed at an early age to a variety of musical genres and instruments, and began playing clarinet at age nine before switching to what became his primary instrument, the tenor saxophone, one year later. The early influences of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cannonball Adderley, and his father, Dewey Redman, as well as The Beatles, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Earth, Wind and Fire, Prince, The Police, and Led Zeppelin, drew Joshua more deeply into music.
In 1991 Redman graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Social Studies. He had already been accepted by Yale Law School, but deferred entrance for what he believed was only going to be one year. Some of his friends (former students at the Berklee College of Music) had recently relocated to Brooklyn, and they were looking for another housemate to help with the rent. Redman accepted their invitation to move in, and almost immediately he found himself immersed in the New York jazz scene. He began jamming and gigging regularly with some of the leading jazz musicians of his generation: Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Kevin Hays, Roy Hargrove, Geoff Keezer, Leon Parker, Jorge Rossy, and Mark Turner (to name just a few). In November of that year, five months after moving to New York, Redman was named the winner of the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition. This was only one of the more visible highlights from a year that saw Redman beginning to tour and record with jazz masters such as his father, Jack DeJohnette, Charlie Haden, Elvin Jones, Joe Lovano, Pat Metheny, Paul Motian, and Clark Terry.
Now fully committed to a life in music, Redman was quickly signed by Warner Bros. Records and issued his first, self-titled album in the spring of 1993, which subsequently earned Redman his first Grammy nomination. His next recording, MoodSwing, was released in 1994, and it introduced his first permanent band, which included pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride, and drummer Brian Blade. Redman established himself as one of the music’s most consistent and successful bandleaders, and added soprano and alto saxophones to his instrumental arsenal. Joshua’s second acclaimed quartet, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, was formed in 1998 and made its recorded debut on the 2000 album Beyond. The dynamic interplay and uncommon rapport of this group inspired Redman to write and record his first long-form composition, Passage of Time, which was released in 2001.
In May 2013, Redman released Walking Shadows (Nonesuch), a collection of vintage and contemporary ballads produced by his friend and frequent collaborator Brad Mehldau. This is Redman’s first recording to include an orchestral ensemble and includes a core ensemble of Mehldau on piano, Larry Grenadier on bass, and Brian Blade on drums. About Walking Shadows, The New York Times says “there hasn’t been a more sublimely lyrical gesture in his 20-year recording career.”
Joshua Redman has been nominated for two Grammys and has garnered top honors in critics and readers polls of DownBeat, Jazz Times, The Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. He wrote and performed the music for Louis Malle’s final film, Vanya on 42nd Street, and is both seen and heard in the Robert Altman film Kansas City.
The Joshua Redman Quartet featuring Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, and Gregory Hutchinson will be performing new original music and jazz classics that Redman wrote and chose specifically for this group of musicians, as well as selections from Redman’s May 2013 release, Walking Shadows, a ballads-oriented album of lyrical music. This band’s music can be challenging, provocative, and forward-looking, but also hard-swinging, melodic, and soulful, with a strong link to the jazz idioms of the 1950s and 1960s. The musicians demand serious energy and engagement of themselves and their listeners, and create music with a joyous and celebratory spirit.