American jazz pianist Joshua Espinoza blends and bends genres into original compositions and arrangements that are immediately relatable, yet hard to define. The son of a Mexican immigrant father and rural Appalachian mother, navigating a fine line between distinct cultures has always been his reality. Growing up Latino in the American South meant learning to navigate social situations carefully, swerving in and out of various identities quickly. In this day of heightened divisiveness, Espinoza believes creating art is one important way of bridging the cultural divide.
In his music, one can hear Espinoza swerving between identities, inhabiting the space between jazz and classical music: Debussy, Ravel, and Chopin, with the freedom of Art Tatum and Bill Evans. On the piano, Espinoza is particularly adept at switching seamlessly from shimmering impressionism to virtuosic outbursts akin to Chick Corea or Keith Jarrett, whom he cites as major influences. In sound, as in life, Espinoza has learned to adapt to situations on the fly, making for enthralling music on the bandstand. What’s the place of an artist in this increasingly chaotic social landscape? According to Espinoza, “music is one of the few things that can bring people together, despite our differences. If my songs can quiet a listener’s mind for just a moment, and allow these perceived distinctions to drip away, then I’ve achieved my goal as an artist.”
A rising voice on the international scene, Espinoza has performed alongside such notable artists as Warren Wolf, Miho Hazama, Dezron Douglas, Jerome Jennings, Paul Bollenback, Alex Norris, John D'earth, Mike Pope, Kris Funn, Todd Marcus, and Chuck Redd. A finalist in the 2018 Ellis Marsalis International Jazz Piano Competition, his playing has been heard on stages large and small including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Blues Alley, The Kennedy Center, Keystone Korner, the Barns at Wolftrap, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His debut album "Journey Into Night" was released in June 2019.
‟Espinoza has an elegant touch...exquisitely done..." - All About Jazz ‟A strong classical impression...with an explosion of freedom that jazz offers." - Jazz in Family (Italy) ‟Journey Into Night is a must-have album...highly recommended." - Jazz In Europe ‟Espinoza is a powerful storyteller on his instrument." - CapitalBop
joshua espinoza trio
Possessing a wide color palette, the Joshua Espinoza Trio explores shimmering harmonies and shifting orchestral contours with the aesthetic of a chamber ensemble as much as a jazz trio. Influenced by artists as disparate as Herbie Hancock, bassist Avishai Cohen, Gerald Clayton, and composer Maurice Ravel, the Joshua Espinoza Trio takes listeners on a journey for the ears and mind alike. Through their genre-bending approach to songwriting, they've built a cross-generational audience of diverse backgrounds bound together by their love of good music. The Joshua Espinoza Trio are Joshua Espinoza (piano), Kris Monson (bass), and Jaron Lamar Davis (drums).