Josh Rager
LEADER
SIDEMAN
BIOGRAPHY

Born and raised in Cumberland, Ontario Josh left home after receiving a scholarship to attend McGill University.  While a student Rager began to make a name for himself on the Montreal jazz scene while furthering his jazz education playing in the city's vibrant clubs and venues.  Subbing-in for his teachers on gigs presented the opportunity to work with many singers and visiting artists and Josh eventually established himself as one of Montreal's in demand pianists/arrangers.

He has been featured on more than 25 recordings with such musicians as: Pat Labarbera, Donny McCaslin, Kelly Jefferson, Adam Nussbaum, Jim Head, Dawn Tyler-Watson, Jim Vivian, and Ingrid Jensen. While a student Josh won several awards and scholarships and held the piano chair in McGill's Jazz Ensemble I. He has graduated in 1997 with honors in Jazz piano. In 2002 Josh received a Canada Council Artist grant B to live in New York and study composition with pianist Kenny Werner.  During this intense period of time he was heard and encouraged by trumpeter Ingrid Jensen who is featured on his debut CD release. In August 2003 Josh's sextet recorded a program of original music featuring Ingrid for CBC's Jazz Beat. On the heels of the release of his self-titled debut CD Josh was nominated for the "Prix du Festival" at the 2004 Montreal International Jazz Festival. Since relocating to Montreal in 2004 Josh has received several grants from both the Canada Council for the arts and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres de Quebec to compose new music for a variety of groups.

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