After college, Josh moved to New York to pursue jazz, Broadway, and great music in all forms. He quickly began collaborating with dozens of artists and expanding his instrument collection and repertoire. The pursuit of Broadway especially influenced his career when Josh decided he wanted to sub on The Lion King, which has a book of 13 flutes from around the world. This led him into the world of traditional instruments, which became an integral part of working on many film and video game projects.
Josh currently lives in New York recording and playing in many ensembles around New York. In his remote recording studio, he has recorded for film scores, commercials, video games, a wide range of albums, and more. Josh continues to write and arrange music, and is a member of projects including The 8-Bit Big Band, Chad LB's Virtual Big Band, and Adam Neely's JAZZSCHOOL, among others. He has also begun a YouTube Channel of original multitrack arrangements featuring many of the instruments that he plays.
I'm often asked about how I'm able to keep up my abilities playing so many instruments in so many different genres. It always strikes me as an odd question. I always find that with each new instrument, each new song, each new musical experience I learn something that informs the rest of my musicianship. I never find that I'm losing abilities—only adding to ones I already have. New perspectives consistently help me address old problems.
It's probably not surprising that I think a lot about the "Jack of All Trades" figure of speech. But it turns out that it was originally a couplet:
"Jack of all trades, master of none,
though oftentimes better than master of one."
With that that in mind, I still endeavor to be a “master of all trades and a jack of none”. What can I say, I like to keep busy.
Josh Plotner is a New York-based saxophonist, woodwind multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and international recording artist. As an instrumentalist, Josh has amassed a collection of over 150 woodwind instruments, including instruments whose origins span five continents. He has become one of the most recorded woodwind artists of the last few years, with hundreds of recordings spanning film, television, video games, and albums, in addition to playing and subbing on Broadway. His playing has been featured on Emmy, GRAMMY, and Oscar-nominated works. Highlights include Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Madam Secretary, The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel, Babylon, Red Dead Redemption II, music for “Star Wars': Galaxy’s Edge” at Disneyland/Disney World, collaboration with Meghan Trainor while she was at No. 1 on the charts, and many others.
At the beginning of his career, Josh focused mostly on jazz and classical saxophone. Soon he picked up flute and clarinet, trying to treat each instrument as his primary focus. By his senior year in high school, he was playing in two orchestras, a nationally competitive classical saxophone quartet, three big bands, two jazz small groups, a symphonic band, a woodwind sextet, and many musical pit orchestras in addition to private lessons. This foundation allowed Josh to become extremely versatile at a high level starting from a young age.
After high school, feeling the need to specialize, Josh decided to focus solely on jazz, but that didn't last for long. In college, Josh discovered not only did he have a passion for the many kinds of music that he played; he also had a passion for learning languages (including French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Mandarin, and Japanese). Once he arrived at Berklee College of Music, he found himself at the most international school in America, and was highly influenced by the friends he made there. In only three years he graduated from Berklee with a double major in Performance and Jazz Composition, Magna Cum Laude.