Oozakazoo, Rock N Rainbow, Tararam
BORN: Toronto ON, Canada
RESIDES: Toronto ON, Canada
PLAYING SINCE: 1978
I find I'm most creative when I have some time to decompress. Washing the dishes, walking down the street, my mind wanders and I can connect with the creative source. Good to have a device to capture ideas.
Singer, songwriter & multi-instrumentalist Joshua Skye Engel has been making music for most of his life. At the tender age of three he started piano lessons through the Royal Conservatory. But the real joy came from his early improvisations and through lifting melodies on the piano by ear. At 11, he appeared on National TV singing back-up for John Sebastian (the Lovin’ Spoonful) at the Genie Awards.
At 18, he moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. There he played in several bands and honed his songwriting. While also producing his first recordings. There he worked with Grammy winning producer George Massenburg. Upon completing his degree, Joshua returned to Toronto and co-founded Beyond the Pale.
In 2001, he became Musical Director of Starshine Productions, a theatre company dedicated to producing thought provoking, original entertainment for children and enjoyed successful international runs. During this time Joshua played the title role in Uncle Jeb’s Farm, a show for which he also arranged the music and produced the Original Soundtrack CD.
Joshua studied the Orff teaching method at the Royal Conservatory and is currently a musician and educator with Rainbow Songs, running interactive musical programs for children. He has been teaching music privately to students in Toronto for over twenty years.
Joshua is a six time scholarship recipient from KlezKanada (1999-2004) where he has studied guitar and mandolin techniques with Jeff Warschauer as well as participating in workshops with members of Brave Old World, the Klezmatics, the Klezmer Conservatory Band and David Krakauer. Joshua has studied guitar with the likes of Michael Occhipinti, Don Ross and Lorne Lofsky. He has also studied arranging with Shelly Berger and Pete Sokolow.
He has produced full length albums, commercials, film and theatre soundtracks and has received grant support from the Ontario Arts Council and FACTOR. An avid traveler, he has performed live in over fifteen different countries on five continents.
An extensive traveller, Joshua has performed live in over fifteen different countries on five different continents including North America (Canada, US), Central America (Nicaragua, Costa Rica), Europe (UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Holland), New Zealand, Australia, Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, India, Nepal), Israel and Africa (Malawi, Zimbabwe).
Joshua has collaborated with Aviva Chernick. Beyond the Pale, Kid Koala, Hawksley Workman, Jack Breakfast, Socalled, Jayme Stone, Mark’s Patchwork, Kat Goldman, The Podemski Sisters, Family Ritual, The Second Floor Collective, Naomi Blicker, Kristin Lindell, Harris Eisenstadt and many others. He is currently a member of oOzAkAzOo, Rock N Rainbow, the Spirits of Rhythm, Tararam and Bais Groove and performs both solo and with several wonderful musicians.
He currently lives in Toronto with his wife Dori and two sons.
Swimming to Catch the Sun
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1: What artist would you most love to work with?
If you mean of all time it would be one of the many departed greats from Beethoven (though I hear he wasn't a great listener) to Lennon or Zappa. Alive is tougher. There are so many wonderful artists I'd love to play with. Everyone has something to tea
2: What instrument brings you the most joy?
Pad Thai, Thailand
3: What was the worst advice?
Get a real job
4: What was your first concert?
First concert I remember going to was Dionne Warwick at the Ontario Place Forum. I remember going to Buffalo to see Michael Jackson with my family early on (when I was about 9 years old). And when I was 10 I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.
5: What/where is the best road food?
Pad Thai, Thailand
6: What’s the best music advice you ever got?
Sing along with everything. Learn to play everything. There is no right or wrong. There are only 12 notes to play.
7: Who is your most surprising inspiration?
television theme songs