For more than ten years, cornetist, improviser, composer, and music presenter Josh Berman has been an essential contributor to Chicago’s active improvised music scene. His work encompasses both developing opportunities for presenting improvised music, and performing in a variety of highly collaborative formats. He’s a co-founder of critically acclaimed Umbrella Music, as well as co-curator of the Emerging Improvisers’ Organization. He’s performed as bandleader of his own groups, Josh Berman’s Old Idea and Josh Berman and His Gang, and as co-leader of Chicago Luzern Exchange.
In addition to his work as bandleader, Berman has performed and recorded with some of the most internationally respected musicians and composers in jazz and improvised music: Bill Dixon, Ab Baars, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Rob Mazurek, Jeb Bishop, and Paul Lytton. He is also a frequent collaborator with dance artists; his collaboration with dancer Ayako Kato and musician Jason Roebke was awarded a CROSSCUT grant for New Collaborations in Sound/Movement from Experimental Sound Studio and Links Hall. Berman was named in the DownBeat critics’ poll among Rising Stars, Trumpet. He has toured the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan.
In 2009, Berman and his group Old Idea released their first full length CD/LP, Old Idea, on Delmark. Josh Berman and His Gang’s There Now, also on Delmark Records, came out in 2012. The albums have garnered critical acclaim in publications including The New York Times, DownBeat, Jazz Times, the Chicago Reader and the Chicago Tribune.