I say this as a lover and lifelong trainee of classical violin: At the time of writing this statement, the World is just not in need of another fiddle player out there. Not to say that traditional avenues of violin playing are going anywhere, but it is of my belief that artists today should be constantly striving to branch out from institutionalized and comfortable avenues of expression in order to reflect on the climate and contexts of the current world we live in. For myself, this translates to exploring the area betwixt the genres of classical, jazz, rock, and hip-hop, among others, to incorporating relevant issues (big and small) into one’s art, and to making an effort to make art simultaneously accessible to the masses while also encouraging a stretching of personal comfort zones within audiences.
Josh Henderson enjoys a multi-faceted career as a cross-genre violinist, violist, and composer. As a classical soloist, he has performed with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, China Performing Arts Broadcasting Troupe, Starling Chamber Orchestra, Accent X Festival Orchestra, Colour of Music Festival Orchestra, Bard Conductors Festival Orchestra, Colour of Music Virtuosi, Palaver Strings, Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, Harlem Chamber Players, Contemporaneous, New-Gen Orchestra of Curacao, Ensemble Du Monde, the CCM Showcase Orchestra and in venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, and The Forbidden City Concert Hall of Beijing.
Carving out a reputation in Jazz, Rock, Hip-Hop, and Country-Fiddle for his dynamic performances, he has served as music director for the Emmy award-winning Damien Escobar (of Nuttin’ But Stringz), and in this role has performed at a number of events across the globe including a performance at the 2013 Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball hosted by Russell Simmons and honoring Barack Obama. Other band-leader positions include serving as music director to pop singer Zahra Universe on her South Korean tour, and to the spoken word artist LikWUid Stylez. A sought after freelance musician in New York City, Josh has performed, recorded, and collaborated with popular artists such as Chris Brown, Michael Bublé, Bilal, Solange, The Sugar Hill Gang, David Byrne, Sufjan Stevens, Courtney Love, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Palmer, Paul McCartney, Mirah, Amine, Angel Olsen, Jherek Bischoff, and members of bands such as “Beirut”, “Deer Hoof”, “Blue Oyster Cult”, and “The Eagles”.
As a composer, he has written for films and had several chamber works performed, including a Carnegie Hall premier of his “A Bird Fell Today” by Duo Anova. Larger works include a full length Ballet for Caliince Dance company, “Marie: Embroidering Survival”, which was premiered at Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in 2012, the 2014 the premier of his viola concerto by the Chelsea Symphony, and the 2017 premiere of his co-written Triple Concerto for Warp Trio and Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra. Recent Upcoming highlights include a new concerto grosso premier and tour for the ensemble, Palaver Strings and a new commission for the Cavani Quartet and orchestra in 2021. Josh has recently been been named the winner of the 2022 Tribeca New Music National Composers Competition for his piece, Veni: A Dystopian Cowgirl Fantasy for violin and fixed electronics.
A founding member of the cross-genre ensemble, Warp Trio, he has led the group on hundreds of concerts and University residencies throughout the United States, as well as on international tours throughout The United Kingdom, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Germany, and the Caribbean. Highlights of recent seasons include, headlining performances at The LEM Festival for Experimental Music in Barcelona, the Omaha Under the Radar Festival, the 2020 MASA Jazz Festival in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and being one of the honored recipients of a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant.
Josh studied at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Prof. Kurt Sassmannshaus, and at New York University with Prof. Naoko Tanaka. Festival studies include the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bang on a Can, Great Wall Music Festival, and Lucerne Festival Academy. He has served on the Artist faculty at NYU, and the University of Iowa (Grant Wood Visiting Professor) in addition to The Montserrat Summer Music Festival, and the Chamber Music Faculty for the contemporary music for youth program, “Face the Music”.