Josh Grossman's blog

So...are ya single?

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Fri May 7 4:17pm

Back in March I had the honour of presenting a session on making a submission to a festival (and then preparing for a festival gig) as part of Music Africa's Artist Training Program. I enjoyed the experience, with an engaged audience and some good discussion, and I took the opportunity to update a presentation I call "Getting the Gig" - something I originally put together nearly ten years ago.

Finding Joy

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Fri Mar 5 11:40am

For a few hours last weekend, the sun was gloriously shining and our little family unit sat outside, enjoying an afternoon snack, interacting (from a distance) with our neighbours and things felt, in those moments, hopeful.

Thank you Denny

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Thu Feb 11 5:09pm

I tend to shy away from writing here in response to someone's passing. It's too fraught - why write about this person and not others? How can I possibly capture someone's life's work in a short blog post? - but word of Denny Christianson's passing has hit hard.

Keeping it simple

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Fri Jan 22 3:59pm

One of the more - what's the word, interesting? challenging? - aspects of online school over these past few weeks has been helping our 9-year-old edit her written and oral presentations. She has a tendency, which may sound familiar, to add words - or, when working on an art project, to add elements - just for the sake of making the work longer, or busier...but without actually enhancing the content.


Submitted by Josh Grossman on Fri Dec 18 12:36pm

And so, here we are. The end of 2020. My last blog post of the year. As I've heard others say, what a decade this year has been.


Submitted by Josh Grossman on Fri Dec 4 10:17am

In my second year of the Jazz Performance Program at the University of Toronto, I had the good fortune to play co-lead trumpet in the 11 O'Clock Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Phil Nimmons. Our first gig of the year was in the Arbor Room at Hart House, and the first tune of the night was a Sammy Nestico arrangement of "Smack Dab in the Middle." Phil counted off the tune and I absolutely pasted the first note.

Exactly four bars early.


Submitted by Josh Grossman on Thu Nov 19 11:58am

Usually at this time of year we'd be in the thick of planning the upcoming festival, making offers and even getting certain shows ready for sale. But until we have more clarity on several fronts, we're in a bit of a holding pattern. I'm doing the usual agent outreach, but the conversations are a bit, well, absurd: "So what's the plan for the Festival?" "Don't know. Got any artists looking to tour?" "Don't know." Repeat.

Catch them while you can

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Fri Oct 23 2:49pm

You may have seen this week an excellent but heartbreaking New York Times article, by Nate Chinen, on the legendary pianist Keith Jarrett. In the article we learn that after two strokes, Keith will likely never return to the stage. Now 75, Keith's last performance was at Carnegie Hall in 2017, and while I had concerns about his silence since then, reading of his health struggles - in what is a very personal interview - was in many ways devastating: another legendary musician silenced and, selfishly, gone was the opportunity to see a legendary performer in action once more.

A completely biased guide to live performance

Submitted by Josh Grossman on Thu Oct 8 3:05pm

Live performance is coming back. It may not look or sound the same as it did eight months ago, but musicians are heading back to the stage, and audiences are heading back to venues. Given the increased efforts required from all involved to follow the health protocols, weigh the risks of being out and about, and even make less money, I thought I would offer a few thoughts on what, to me, makes a good performance.