Joshua Redman is the most acclaimed and charismatic jazz artist to have emerged in the decade of the 1990s. Born in Berkeley, California, he is the son of legendary saxophonist Dewey Redman and dancer Renee Shedroff and an alumnus of the jazz studies program at Berkeley High School. After graduating from Harvard College, Redman was accepted by Yale Law School in 1991, but postponed his entrance for one year to satisfy a growing desire to pursue music. Four months later, Redman’s decision was confirmed when he was named the winner of the Thelonious
Monk International Saxophone Competition by a panel of judges comprised of Jimmy Heath, Branford Marsalis, Jackie McLean, Frank Wess and the late Benny Carter.
Now fully committed to a career in the arts, Redman was quickly signed by Warner Bros. Records and issued his first, self-titled album in 1993, where he was featured on tenor saxophone. That same year saw the release of Wish, where Redman was joined by an all-star supporting cast of Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden and the late Billy Higgins. His next recording, MoodSwing, introduced his first permanent band, which included three other young artists who have gone on to make their mark in the jazz world: pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade. Over a series of celebrated recordings including Spirit of the Moment/Live at the Village Vanguard, Freedom in the Groove and Timeless Tales (for Changing Times), Redman established himself as one of the music’s most consistent and successful bandleaders, and added soprano and alto saxophones to his instrumental arsenal. His second acclaimed quartet, featuring pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, made its debut on Redman’s 2000 album Beyond, and is also featured performing the saxophonist’s first extended composition on the 2001 disc Passage of Time. A year later, Redman formed a new trio with keyboard player Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade that is heard on Redman’s most recent release, Elastic, as well as under the collective name Yaya3. Redman’s upcoming album will be on the Nonesuch label and is expected to be released in Spring 2005.
In addition to his own projects, Redman has been heard with an array of musicians including Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Lionel Hampton, Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson, Elvin Jones, Quincy Jones, Joe Lovano, Marcus Miller, Paul Motian, Dianne Reeves, McCoy Tyner and Cedar Walton. He provided the music for the film Vanya on 42nd Street and is both seen and heard in the Robert Altman film Kansas City. In 2001, Redman was named Artistic Director of the SF Jazz Spring Season (a program of the San Francisco Jazz Festival), and in 2004 he launched the SF Jazz Collective, an eight-piece ensemble dedicated to performing both commissioned works and new arrangements of the work of great jazz composers.