“I love connecting with people,” says young trumpeter Josh Shpak. “Whether they be teenagers or your grandma, if I can see that they’re feeling the music, I’m happy.”
This breaking of generational gaps has become somewhat of a habit for the 22-year-old Berklee College of Music student. With a wide stylistic palette of influences from classic jazz to electronica, Shpak has made himself a wanted commodity in the music world. This cross-generational quality has launched a career playing with jazz heavyweights such as George Garzone, Dave Liebman, and Jimmy Heath; soul legends Tower of Power; young crossover innovators like Casey Benjamin, Nir Felder, and John Daversa; and pop and opera superstar Josh Groban. A protégé of jazz icon Clark Terry, Shpak is dually driven by a great respect for the past and a drive to put his own mark on the future, saying, “Every great musician in history has been completely present in his or her own time period while using their knowledge of the tradition to drive their creative forces.”
Shpak is currently a member of Boston-based rock/funk/dance-pop band Ripe, acoustic world-jazz ensemble The Affinity Quartet, the Mario Castro Quintet, and numerous other projects. He also performs with his own group, the Josh Shpak Band, a cutting-edge modern jazz outfit that incorporates the sounds of rock, electronic, and film music with jazz. The band’s debut EP, ASTATIC, released in the late summer of 2015, features artwork by Leigh McCloskey, whose inspired inventiveness has graced the cover of Flying Lotus’s Cosmogramma and the Rolling Stones’ Bigger Bang Tour.
Watch the Josh Shpak Band perform their song, "Always Gone:"