We’ve all heard stories of newly discovered masterpiece art collections exhumed from basements where they were relegated to obscurity during the artist’s lifetime. The familiar theme here is the creator’s demons and overactive mind kept these precious canvases hidden. Simply put, they didn’t feel ready to share their work.
For years, shamanistic guitarist and composer Ari Joshua has been one of those “musician’s musicians” who those “in the know” rave about but remains under the radar to the public. Struggles with substance abuse; a severe car accident; Ari’s commitment to music education with the successful school he founded, The Music Factory; and the daunting task of mixing have kept him in something of a creative holding pattern
Ari is finally opening his vault and sharing a catalog of recordings that feature his masterful musicianship alongside such revered instrumentalists as four-time Grammy-winning artist Robert Glasper, Marco Benevento, Joe Russo, Delvon Lamarr, Skerik, and members of the Trey Anastasio Band. These tracks will be issued in various configurations, and they document a spiritual journey of a prodigious talent all-consumed by his passion for music.
“Life and the Universe vibrates with songs, and when you play your instrument, you can tap into sacred frequencies. They can heal, bring people together, and they reveal ancient truths,” the South African born, Seattle-raised guitarist reveals. “Music is my purpose; it’s why I am here. It’s taken me time working through pain and frustrations to pursue this calling, but I am ready to serve the music.”
Ari is a jazz, rock, experimental, improv musician who wields an enlightened presence, boundless creativity, and visceral virtuosity. He earned a scholarship to the iconic New York City music school, The New School. Many talented musicians have gravitated towards Ari’s sound. Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam featured Ari on his solo album, and legendary Santana drummer Michael Shrieve asked Ari to be the lead guitarist of his band. Ari’s rock band, Big High, attracted the talents of Mad Season and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin, and REM guitarist Peter Buck.
He records and performs on a custom guitar handmade by Paul Languedoc, Trey Anastasio’s guitar maker and Phish’s longtime sound man. Hallmarks of his sensibility are his bell-like tone, lush and impressionistic chord voicings, and fiery improvisations that have a psychedelic sprawl, brimming with jazzy flights, bluesy passages, and fluid legato runs that seem to dance in the crevices of the grooves. “I just close my eyes, tune in, and the notes come from somewhere else. The music just pours out,” Ari says.
On March 17th, 2021 his first vault recording, “Eyes Only,” went live on all streaming services. It’s Ari’s collaboration with Robert Glasper, and organically it accrued over 37,000 spins, racking up 1,000-3,000 plays a day with no music biz machine behind it. This past May, Ari released the playfully evocative jazz tune, “Walmart Dinosaurs,” which showcases him in a jazz setting with improvisations that feature intriguing flows of melody and dissonance as he colors inside and outside the tune’s sophisticated harmony structure.