Josh Harlow

composer/pianist

Josh Harlow is a pianist and composer currently based in Chicago. He was born in Boston to a musical family; his formative experiences included singing prayers in synagogue and playing rock and jazz in his basement with friends. In 2016, he graduated Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with Dan Wall, Billy Hart, and Robin Eubanks among others. Josh has performed around the United States and has been lucky to collaborate with likeminded musical peers and some of his elders including Nicole Mitchell, Wadada Leo Smith, Michael Formanek, Jaribu Shahid, Dana Jessen, and Joo Won Park.

In addition to his work as a composer and performer, Josh is an experienced and committed teacher. He teaches private and group lessons and has an ongoing relationship with Make Music NOLA, a free music-for-social-justice afterschool and summer program for underserved children in New Orleans.

Josh excels in an eclectic variety of musical contexts: from non-idiomatic improvisation and composition to straight-ahead jazz ensemble and solo piano work, to psychedelic rock and beyond. With such a broad vocabulary, Josh retains clarity by focusing on his core values: interpersonal connection, narrative, and the concrete application of the theoretical in service to his art.