Josh Torrey (he/him) is a freelance low brass artist and teacher based in Chicago. Raised in upstate New York, he relocated to Chicago in the fall of 2012 following completion of a BMus in Jazz Studies degree at the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. While attending U of I his primary teacher was Jim Pugh, and he also studied with and performed in ensembles directed by Chip McNeil, Chip Stephens, Dana Hall, and Tito Carillo. Josh also performed with U of I’s Jazz Trombone Ensemble (winners of the 2012 Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble competition) at the 2012 International Trombone Festival in Paris, France.
Since moving to the city, Josh has cultivated an active performing career in every genre of music. He can be heard regularly with The Josh Torrey Nonet, Spocket, Brooke and the Nice Things, Heisenberg Uncertainty Players, Shout Section Big Band, Blueshift Big Band, and the Alan Gresik Swing Orchestra. Other career highlights include touring domestically and internationally with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and playing trombone and tuba for the Chicago premiere of Tom Waits’ opera Woyzeck, produced by Chicago Fringe Opera.
A dedicated educator, Josh has been teaching lessons on trombone, bass trombone, euphonium/baritone, tuba, and jazz improvisation at schools in suburban Chicago since 2014, and currently teaches low brass lessons at Hinsdale South High School and Lake Zurich District 95 in addition to students in the city. He greatly enjoys helping his students grow as musicians and pursues a holistic teaching approach that builds both technical skills on the instrument and creative skills through ear training and improvisation. Whatever the genre, Josh wants to help the students feel a sense of ownership of the material, and the freedom that comes with making choices they truly hear in the moment.