Joshua Mark Bowlus grew up in Port Orange, FL and was the oldest child of three. As a young child, every time he saw a piano he would run up to it and bang on the keys. Acknowledging his obvious attraction to the instrument, Joshua’s parents started their young child out on the Suzuki method with private lessons at home around age 5. Joshua continued to train classically throughout his childhood and teenage years through private lessons at Stetson University until he began high school. He credits both his high school band director Andrew Kidd and local jazz pianist/teacher Harold Blanchard for sparking his interest in jazz. Noticing his strong passion and dedication to this American art form, his teachers and peers awarded him with the prestigious Louis Armstrong Jazz Award upon graduation. Starting in 2002, Bowlus continued his jazz education at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, studying under pianists Kevin Bales & Keith Javors. The head of UNF jazz and extraordinary alto saxophonist Bunky Green served as Joshua’s primary mentor through his later years in college. Since graduating from UNF in 2006, he has built his career as a jazz pianist while residing in Jacksonville, acting as both a bandleader for his own groups as well as a sideman for various other groups.
Joshua’s music has allowed him to perform in multiple popular jazz festivals and venues around the country, including the Jacksonville Jazz Fest, the Savannah Jazz Fest, the Monterey Jazz Fest, Kokopelli’s Jazz Club, B-Sharp’s Jazz Cafe, The Jazz Corner, and Iridium Jazz Club in NYC. He has also performed in a number of other locations around the globe, including France, Spain, and China. As the pianist for the UNF Jazz Ensemble One during his college years, the band played a two-week concert tour of China, and was the first jazz big band to perform on the Great Wall of China.
While currently still residing in Jacksonville, Joshua currently performs locally as the bandleader for The Joshua Bowlus Trio (or Quartet), and plays regularly in local venues such as The Parlour, The Grotto, Underbelly, The Brick, Rhett’s Piano Bar, & the Mudville Music Room. He has performed on random occasions with numerous well-known jazz artists on the scene including Wynton Marsalis, Bunky Green, Christian McBride, Ulysses Owens, Barry Greene, Dennis Marks, Danny Gottlieb, Annie Sellick, John Lee, Yotam Silberstein, Doc Handy, Lisa Kelly, & J.B. Scott. Bowlus collaborates regularly with singing sensation Linda Cole, who is a family member of the Nat King Cole dynasty. Joshua is the regular pianist for the Kelly/Scott Quintet based out of Jacksonville, and is also a member of the Jazz Conceptions Orchestra, a NYC-based 9-piece jazz ensemble. The JCO released their debut album in October 2008 and performs on occasion in both the NYC and Southeast regions. More recently he has joined the Jax Jazz Collective, a modern jazz sextet preparing to release their 2nd album in 2015. Joshua has recorded as a sideman with many other celebrated musicians on their own projects, including tenor saxophonist John Ricci, electric bass prodigy Jon Reshard, fusion guitarist Greg Howe, and world-renowned drummer Dave Weckl. Joshua has developed his own unique voice in the jazz world, and has recently released his first official album as a bandleader in collaboration with vocalist Linda Cole under his own record label, J-Bo Records.
Visit Joshua at joshuabowlusmusic.com