Thirty-three year old Chicago based trumpeter and composer Josh Rzepka has been featured on NPR, PBS, and has been heard on jazz radio across the country and world. His album Into the Night reached the #9 position on the JazzWeek radio chart and the #5 position on the CMJ Jazz chart. He has been heralded not only for his jazz playing and composing, but also for his classical performances.
Originally from Akron, OH, Josh has released four albums. His jazz albums include, Trumpet Genesis (2013), Into the Night (2011), and his debut album Midwest Coast (2009). His debut classical album was Josh Rzepka: Baroque Music for Trumpet (2010).
An active educator, Josh teaches trumpet in the Chicago metro area as well as lessons nationally and internationally to students of all ages over Skype. He previously was the Jazz trumpet instructor at Chicago’s Merit School of Music. He has presented masterclasses and clinics at the high school and college level, and has been a written contributor to The Instrumentalist magazine.
Josh earned his BM from the Oberlin Conservatory with a double major in classical and jazz trumpet performance. He earned his MM in performance from Boston University’s College of Fine Arts.
Since the fall of 2015 Josh has toured nationally with classic rock sensation Under the Streetlamp performing to sold out crowds across the country. Josh has performed at famed venues including Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Strathmore Hall, Cleveland’s NightTown, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Knitting Factory, as well as the Green Mill, Andy’s Jazz Club, and the Jazz Showcase in Chicago. He has appeared on stage with the Detroit Symphony and Oklahoma City Philharmonic. As a soloist Josh has presented recitals and concerts ranging from the baroque, to modern, to original jazz.
Additional appearances include performing with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra led by internationally renowned trumpeter Sean Jones, the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, as well as many other ensembles and groups. He also has recorded with the likes of Detroit and Motown legend Marcus Belgrave, trombone extraordinaire Andy Hunter, and does session work writing charts and recording for indie, rock, and blues artists.
In 2011 Josh was recognized by the Akron Area Arts Alliance with their 2011 Arts Alive! Rising Young Star award. This biennial award was a big honor for Josh and he was thrilled to receive this great honor from his hometown of Akron.
“Rzepka’s trumpet and flugelhorn playing recalls all the warmth and thoughtfulness of Chet Baker, yet with a control and sense of humor not unlike Clark Terry.”
– International Trumpet Guild
“A solid player that knows how to be a driving leader, this is a smoking date that never strays from being right in the pocket. A solid winner throughout.”
– Midwest Record
As an active educator Josh Rzepka maintains a private studio and is available as a teacher in the Chicago area as well as nationally and internationally by Skype. Josh’s methodology involves utilizing a students strengths to tackle the areas of playing that are deficient – always building from what the student already has success with. This allows the student to use already established habits to establish new positive habits while unlearning old undesirable habits.