Joshua Fialkoff grew up plunking away on a dusty old piano, imbibing the soulful melodies of Ray Charles, Jim Croce, Van Morrison, Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald. For 20 years, his passion for music grew in fits and starts. Throughout those decades, he toured the US to play music for Swing and Blues dancers, attended music school, and wrote the occasional melody. One day, he sat down at that same piano, dusted off the memories of a childhood filled with rich music, and discovered a yearning to create and share his own music that could no longer be held at bay.
Now, after 5 years as leader and frontman of Downtown Shimmy, Joshua has split off to redefine himself and his art. In the works is a solo EP that combines his powerful vocals, artfully picked guitar, and unique piano stylings – a veritable gumbo of roots piano flavors. The album showcases Joshua’s depth as a songwriter with a bounty of new music, from the chilling “Oh Fortunate One”, a thoughtful look into privilege, to the lighthearted “I’ve Got a Letter”, a joyous celebration of getting real, old-fashioned mail.
Prior to embarking on his newest journey, Joshua toured as a solo artist and with his various ensembles, making music for folks throughout the US, Canada, the UK, and Europe. He has performed for audiences large and small, from the Philadelphia Folk Festival, Musikfest, and Spring Gulch Folk Festival, to several jazz clubs, dance exchanges (international gatherings of Swing and Blues dancers) and patrons’ homes for intimate private concerts. Joshua has released three live albums and, in 2014, released his first studio album with his group Downtown Shimmy that, according to WXPN’s Julie Miller, “channeled the true soul of southern music.”
Currently, Joshua is excited to take some time off the road to further hone his skills as a musician and songwriter. He is looking forward to 2018, when he’ll take to the road (and air, and water) once again to share his new music.
For Dance Events
Joshua Fialkoff lends his smoky voice and unique piano stylings – a veritable gumbo of “roots piano” flavors – to dance exchanges and series around the world, and has been doing so for over ten years. Joshua first began playing for dancers as a bass player for Solomon Douglas. Later, as a pianist, he started his own group and began sharing his distinct brand of Blues and Swing. Joshua is known for his unique arrangements that are at once new and old, and an authenticity and rawness that shines through in his presence and performance.
Blues and Swing events throughout the US, Canada, and Europe regularly feature Joshua or one of his ensembles. Some recent performances include Spoonful (Edinburgh, UK), DCLX’tra (Washington DC), Dance Flurry (Saratoga Springs, NY), BluesSHOUT (Chicago, IL), Sweet Molasses Blues (Boston, MA), Eastside Stomp (Seattle, WA), Montreal Bagel and Blues (Montreal, QC), Capital Ballroom (Seattle, WA), Mean Old Blues (San Francisco, CA), and many others. He has shared the stage with a number of esteemed musicians including Gordon Webster, Barbara Morrison, and Meschiya Lake. Joshua is the rare performer who cares deeply about his audience, who is constantly seeking to connect and engage the people he plays for, and who yearns to instill in everyone within earshot an irresistible urge to move.