Christian Josi

b. c. 1971, Redlands, California, USA. Ballad singer Josi initially rebelled against his mother’s preference for Frank Sinatra records at his home in favour of drumming in a local heavy metal band.…
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Artist Biography

b. c. 1971, Redlands, California, USA. Ballad singer Josi initially rebelled against his mother’s preference for Frank Sinatra records at his home in favour of drumming in a local heavy metal band. At 17, however, he saw Sinatra in the flesh and his interest sparked. While attending college (studying political science) he was cast in a singing role in two Cole Porter musicals, and he soon became fully immersed in the works of torch singers such as Tony Bennett and Bing Crosby. After graduating from California State University he spent two years touring America as part of the Chris Davis Band. Josi evidently saw this as an integral part of his musical evolution: ‘For someone who wants to do this kind of music, you can’t do it right unless you’ve been in front of a big band.’ He then moved from west to east coast after sneaking backstage at a Mel Tormé concert and passing the singer a copy of his demo tape. The following day his piano player, John Collianni, called, and invited Josi to New York to sing with the new band he was forming. Although the collaboration never came off as planned, while in the metropolis he did find a great deal more opportunity to sing, and also met his wife. A series of high profile concerts accompanied his rapid rise, drawing favourable comments from such as Grover Washington Jnr. and Herb Jeffries. His debut album, I Walks With My Feet Off The Ground, saw him backed by a quartet of Tony Monte (piano), Harry Allen (saxophone), Dave Green (bass) and Trevor Tomkins (drums), with production assistance from Delfeayo Marsalis. This collection of swing and ballad numbers endeared him to many, not least a quantity of young supporters not readily given to appreciating the standards. As Josi commented, ‘I think the essence of this music’s appeal to the young is that it’s finally being presented to them by people they can consider their peers.’