Josh Johnston is a pianist, arranger and composer/songwriter from Dun Laoghaire, just south of Dublin in Ireland. After graduating from the University of Salford with a degree in Popular Music in 1997, he messed around for a couple of years, working in radio and music retail before taking the plunge to try his hand at being a full-time musician.
Since releasing his CD, Three Friends in 2001 (which he recorded in Dublin with singer Jane Dalton and Zrazy saxophonist Carole Nelson and which featured songs by Johnston, Bob Dylan, Hoagy Carmichael and others), he has built a steady reputation as a thoughtful and musically literate performer and recording artiste, increasingly writing his own material and treating others’ music with the sensitivity and respect it deserves. His second CD Asylum Harbour – 2008 – was a case in point. This is a musically wide-ranging mixture of instrumentals and songs, co-writes and covers, all arranged by Josh in a wide variety of settings ranging from piano solo to full band and beyond.
Between 2001 and 2006, Josh recorded and performed live regularly as a jazz duo with Dublin violinist David MacKenzie and an ensemble which took the swing jazz of Stephan Grappelli as a starting point but also mixes elements of latin jazz, blues and classical music to create an excellently refreshing mix of standards and original compositions. Though not currently working together, their two CDs A Minor Happiness (2004) and Notes Home (2008) are testament to the high quality of musicianship they brought to the collaboration.
He also enjoyed six years writing and performing with Birr singer / songwriter Roesy (www.roesy.net), appearing in countless shows and on three CDs, the most recent being Colour Me Colourful (2008). As well as this, he has played live and recorded to one degree or another with musicians from across the musical spectrum such as Kila, SJ McArdle, Breda Mayock, Keith Mullins, Peadar King, Maggie Breheny, Truly Divine, Stewart Agnew, Hank Wiedel, and Ronan Swift, among others. He is also the resident pianist at the Cáca Milis Cabaret, a regular cabaret evening in Wexford and Dublin where the best of all the arts – but in particular music, comedy, dance, film, and spoken word – are exhibited.
Josh has directed three chamber choirs (the most recent being the Rosney Consort), accompanies choirs, singers and soloists; for exams, rehearsals and recitals and is the organist at the Unitarian Church in Dublin. Classically trained and with a keen interest in all forms of popular music, he is a versatile and valuable session musician, equally at home in jazz, folk and rock.
Many of Josh’s gigs are not his own promotions, nor is he the primary artist. In the name of new discoveries, all the details of all the gigs are up on the Live page as well as links to some of them to buy tickets.
All of Josh’s own CDs (and David & Josh as well) are up on the Discography page – we are working on gradually including CDs that he has played on over the years.