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Last Update: Monday, December 22, 2014


Joshua Stephen Kartes is a freelance composer, arranger, pianist, vocalist, musical director, vocal coach, and clinician currently based in New York City. Joshua is the music director, arranger, and orchestrator for the critically acclaimed Broadway Sings concert series at Le Poisson Rouge (performances have also been presented at 54 Below and Highline Ballroom). He is the music director and pianist for Broadway Sessions at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Prior to his move to the East Coast, Joshua spent four and a half years in Chicago, Illinois where he quickly made a name for himself in the theatre and music arenas. On April 29, 2009, Joshua received his third and fourth Joseph Jefferson Non-Equity Award nominations for his work in Theo Ubique Theatre Company's Chicago world premiere hit production of Jacques Brel's Lonesome Losers of the Night (on September 25, 2008, he was announced as the recipient of the 2008 After Dark Award for Outstanding Musical Direction for his work on this show). Joshua co-created, music directed and wrote the musical arrangements for the show; his nominations are for Outstanding Achievement as Musical Director and for Best New Stage Adaptation. In 2008, Joshua won the Jeff Award for Outstanding Achievement as Musical Director for Theo Ubique's production of the Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret.

Joshua was born on September 13, 1982 in Muskegon, Michigan. The talent and nurture of Joshua's family sparked an intense interest in performing and creating music at a young age. Joshua made his "big stage" performance debut at the age of eleven as "Oliver Twist" in Muskegon Civic Theatre's April 1994 production of Oliver!, and there has been no turning back since.

The myriad experiences in the world of music throughout Joshua's childhood led him to attend the renowned Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana. There, he studied with many inspiring musicians, including composers David Dzubay, Sven-David Sandström, P. Q. Phan and Don Freund, and pianist Jean-Louis Haguenauer. He received his bachelor's degree in music composition and piano performance in 2005. While in Bloomington, Joshua also developed a very strong professional relationship with his friend and colleague, renowned choral composer and hammer dulcimer player Malcolm Dalglish. The two continue to collaborate with Dalglish's summer camp series, Camp Ooolation!, where Joshua is a guest clinician and composer, and in the folk quartet Ooodoo (also featuring Naomi Dalglish and Los Angeles–based singer/composer Moira Smiley) which released its first commercial recording in 2007 featuring the songs of Dalglish, entitled Into the Sky.

Joshua's performance, teaching, and compositional experience ranges many different styles and genres of music. He draws from his experience with all of these — popular, theatrical, classical, a cappella choral, folk, world, jazz, rock, early period — to create a sound and style unique to his voice and his pen. Joshua's work has been performed at schools, camps, churches, and other venues across the country.

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