Unifying and engaging audiences through rhythm
Josh Robinson is a professional Percussionist, teaching artist, and drum facilitator. For the past 20 years he has used his skills, expertise, and life experience to share drumming and the many gifts it brings with thousands of people each year, around the country. His approach is personal, passionate, creative, and intentional and has been recognized by community and professional groups around the country.
In addition to teaching and presenting, he is currently a member of “Alo Brasil”, a 14 piece Philadelphia-based Samba group, and “ The Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra” – a group that blends drumming traditions from Cuba, Brazil, Africa, and India. He founded “Rhythms & Roots” Latin Music ensemble in 2000 with his wife Giovana, and both were selected to the 2003 & 2004 Philadelphia Music Project’s Latin Orchestra led by famed bandleader Johnny Pacheco and Cuban pianist/composer/producer Elio Villafranca.
Josh is grateful to be on a heart-led path of helping people use drumming as a tool for healthy self-expression, community building, and connection while sharing his passion for drumming and helping others.
Awards and Recognition
- $Artist-in-residence, Thomas Jefferson University
- $2021 NJ Governors Award for excellence in Arts Education
- $"Performing Artist of the Year” by Young Audiences NJ/Eastern PA
- $“Community Hero Award” from The Uplift Center For Grieving Children in Philadelphia
- $“Service Award” Rutgers University Future Scholars program for at-risk youth, Camden, NJ
- $“G-Pause” Google Wellness Initiative Presenter
Get In Contact With Josh
how drumming has led to healing from loss, processing challenges, and expression beyond the limits of words.
Josh grew up around the music business, hanging around the Woodstock recording studio and sitting in on his Father’s weekly radio show, “Blues Break.” As a kid he developed a love for drums, playing pots, pans and eventually a drum set in the basement of his home in Woodstock, New York. While his father worked as a sound engineer, and toured around the U.S. and Japan with “The Band”, Josh got to tag along and sound check Levon Helm’s drum set solidifying his love for music.
As Josh dealt with a complicated relationship with his father, he turned to drumming to release anger and confusion in a way that was productive, not destructive. His drum has always been a place where he could escape into a world where the limitations of words don’t exist.
In 1989 Josh joined “Sankofa” drum and dance ensemble where he was introduced to the instruments and rhythms of Latin, Brazilian, and Afro-Caribbean music. The rhythmic quest has taken him to Cuba and Brazil where he studied with masters of percussion, toured with Alo Brasil – a 14 piece Philadelphia based Samba group, and The Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra.
Josh often refers to his drum as his “trash truck” and “most reliable friend” where he can release emotions and energy from the many challenges life presents. The drum is a place where he can feel more than he thinks about what he wants to say.
For the past 20 years, Josh has committed himself to share drumming and the many gifts it brings with thousands of people each year. He trys to give his students tools to use the drum as an option for coping; for taking out their trash. He tells students quite simply from his own experience that there are only so many things you can hit and produce a positive result.
As a child of an addict himself, Josh heals through helping others, and can speak about choices he has made given the hand he was dealt. You either have the perfect excuse, or fuel for a fire to burn that blueprint and write your own story. As someone who didn’t grow up with a lot, it’s important for him to show students how accessible the drum can be, by showing them how to make instruments themselves or use found objects depending on their resources to continue the work he starts.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to live my passion and help others along the way. The work we are doing here together (and I mean the whole village) is changing lives, saving lives, and empowering kids who are dealing with challenges they inherited. We can’t always give them answers, but we can give them love, hope, and tools to rise above their circumstances and become the best versions of themselves they can be. “
of Teaching and Facilitation
of Teaching and Facilitation
Josh’s drum workshops create a level playing ground where titles and tiers disappear while focusing the group on a unified goal of rhythm through teamwork. Communication skills are improved, stress reduced, and everyone’s uniqueness is valued and highlighted.
Everyone needs a vehicle for healthy self expression and tools for wellness. Josh has done work within a variety of communities to help people gain tools for wellness, communication, creativity, and healthy self-expression.
Josh’s interactive keynote presentation is a powerful and inspirational experience that includes sharing his personal story of turning pain into purpose through drumming, and helping others do the same. People leave inspired, connected, reflective, and motivated.