“Setting my mind on a musical instrument was like falling in love. All the world seemed bright and changed.”
William Christopher Handy
Joshua King is a vocalist, musician, and songwriter from Charlotte, North Carolina. Most of his friends just call him Josh. With a smooth, rich, baritone voice and expansive vocal range, his voice has captivated listeners. As a multi-instrumentalist, Josh plays diatonic and chromatic harmonicas and piano in genres that include blues, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, and Gospel. As a young harmonica player, Josh performed with Grammy winners as well as Blues and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees. He has sung anthems at major sporting events including the US Open Tennis Championships and a Carolina Panthers NFL game.
Josh’s first musical instrument was a harmonica that his Dad gave him when he was 6 years old. Josh soon figured out how to play it. By the time he was 7, he began spending a lot of time in New York City as a child actor and went on to appear in commercials, in television shows like NBC’s ‘Kings’, ‘The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon’, and ‘The Late Show with David Letterman’. Music was everywhere in NYC. The thriving and diverse New York music scene inspired him to take harmonica lessons from top NY musicians. By age 8, he was jamming on stage at places like B.B. King's Blues Club in New York's Times Square.
This led to Josh being mentored by blues harmonica legend and Grammy winner, James Cotton, who passed away in 2017. Cotton instantly
recognized the “old soul” in Josh, who was 8 when they first met in 2009. Cotton called Josh his "musical grandson" and passed down a heritage of
early blues music and lessons learned from Sonny Boy Williamson (Rice Miller), Jimmy Reed, Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters. Cotton often invited Josh to join him on stage to perform at music festivals, blues and jazz clubs and in concert halls including the Lincoln Center in New York.
Josh may have been rooted in blues but Cotton knew in his heart that the kid was destined to branch out beyond blues. The legendary bluesman
encouraged Josh to sing, write music and explore music beyond the blues genre in order to discover his own style, sound and path.
Josh has also performed with Tommy Emmanuel, Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Fred Yonnet, Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Mud Morganfield (son of Muddy Waters), The Low Rider Band (War), and the UK's The Jive Aces. His style has been described as "mainstream with a touch of old-school soul and timeless." Some of his other musical influences include David Foster, Elton John, Elvis, Huey Lewis, Michael Bublé, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder. As he endeavors to create new music that is different, yet lasting, Josh is constantly striving to discover interesting combinations of sweet chords and spice notes and to write the right lyrics that bring his original songs to life. Josh envisions recording in the near future.
Actively involved in giving back to the community, Josh performs regularly at hospitals in the Charlotte area. Josh said, "I realized the need for live
music in medical centers after a family member was in the hospital. Finding a grand piano to play late one night in the hospital lobby really helpedme deal with things. That's when I decided to become a music volunteer." He also does a weekly music show for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation's
Josh is also a part of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport Arts and Entertainment Program where he performs at the grand piano located in the airport's Atrium between Terminals B and C.
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