Electronisist JOSH OXFORD, born in 1985, is a composer, arranger, and performer of myriad styles of music. He has performed throughout the world, especially in his native central New York, on piano, percussion, and Moog synthesizer. After suffering a debilitating car crash in 2010, Josh has devoted his energy to composing. His music can be heard on releases from Aaron Tindall, Frank Gabriel Campos, Tim Winfield, and on the debut album of his band The OXtet. He holds two degrees from Ithaca College and a masters from Queens College, where he was awarded The ASCAP Foundation Louis Armstrong Scholarship. He will pursue a doctorate at Arizona State University. Josh still performs regularly in the improvisational space-rock/funk band Galactic Escort Service and as the organist for St. James AME Zion church.

Today, Josh is our featured composer in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our artists. Read on to discover Josh’s most embarrassing piano performance…

Who was your first favorite artist growing up?

Phil Collins and Genesis were my first musical love. By the time I was 5 I had every Genesis album memorized including how long the songs were. For my 6th birthday my mother bought tickets to see them live! I was very ecstatic that Chester Thompson was also playing drums. Both he and Phil Collins are why I started playing drums when I was younger.

When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?

Fortunately I’ve always known, since I was a kid, that I’d be a musician. My father had one of the first 5-CD CD players, and we listened to everything from Billy Joel and Simon and Garfunkle to Return to Forever and King Crimson. Music was always a part of my life.

What was your most unusual performance, or the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?

When I was working as a staff accompanist at Ithaca College, I had many amazing and terrible playing experiences. The most embarrassing was certainly with the Ithaca College chamber orchestra misreading the key signature in Appalachian Spring when I (the piano) was in unison with the winds.

If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?

I feel that the best way for me to live a life that is primarily driven by service to others is writing music and teaching at a college.

If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I went to Switzerland twice in high school and the energy was so amazing and unique. Writing music outside has yielded some of my best composing, and I’d love to experience that again. The closest place I’ve found in the U.S. is Colorado. The piece Lindsey recorded on ETEREO was actually mostly written in Mexico when I was playing piano for Crystal Cruiselines.

If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?

Definitely viola. I’d love to be more fluent in reading alto clef and writing (and composing) idiomatic string parts. A suboctave pedal also immediately makes it a cello.

Is there a specific feeling that you would like communicated to audiences in this work?

Empowering musicians and making them and the audience enjoy the music is always a principle aim.


Etereo New Music for Flute, Album Cover Art

ETEREO, featuring work from Josh, is now available to stream or buy from Navona Records. Click here to explore this album…