Papa Josh Suhrheinrich
Papa Josh's groundbreaking solo show bridges the gap between Live Funk and Electronic Dance Music. Winner of the 2011 Roland Loop Competition, PJ performs, records, loops and sequences super funky, jazz inflected, hard rocking grooves on guitar, bass, keys, vocals, electronic percussion and effects to create an irresistible dance party experience. Papa Josh's electrifying craftsmanship culminates in irresistible grooves that move booties and blow listeners' minds.
Born Josh Suhrheinrich in Bloomington, Indiana, Josh picked up the guitar at age nine and immediately started writing music and learning to play rock and roll and blues. By age sixteen, Josh was fronting his own band and gigging regularly in local clubs. In the midst of racking up valuable performance experiences, Josh also opened his ears to the sophisticated melodies of John Coltrane and the irresistable funk grooves of James Brown. They immediately raised the bar, steering him down a much more diverse and challenging musical path.
Josh pursued his various musical loves in his own original projects, funk bands, jazz groups, blues bands, stage shows, and touring big bands like the Larry Elgart Jazz Orchestra, all while studying both jazz and world religions at Indiana University. He performed with Arturo Sandoval and former Wes Montgomery bandmate Alonzo "Pookie" Johnson . His combination of groove, style and sound attracted admirers amongst a broad range of listeners.
Josh then received a scholarship from the Liberace foundation and completed a master's degree in jazz studies under the tutelage of world renowned guitarist, Fareed Haque (Garaj Mahal, Sting). Josh continued to perform and tour with various groups and recorded an album with his Chicago based acid jazz group Soul Slipper (featuring Winton Marsalis and Lincoln City Orchestra pianist Dan Nimmer). Just after finishing his second degree, Josh was lured out of Chicago by San Francisco based Funk/jazz/Jam band, Global Funk Council and spent a few years touring North America and fine tuning his exceptional guitar skills and genre blending style. In 2004, Josh followed love and nature by moving to beautiful Whistler, British Columbia.
Not long after settling in Whistler, Josh became a Papa. The name Papa Josh, by which he is now well known, became a term of endearment as well as a stage name fans could easily remember and chant from the dance floor. Ambitiously setting out to make the world "get down and dance" completely on his own, PJ honed his skills as a "looper", recording drums, bass, guitar, vocals and percussion on the spot. In 2011, he won the Roland Canada National Loop contest and went on to compete in the 2012 World Loop Championships in Frankfurt, Germany. Other notable performances included the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, Basscoast Festival, Whistler Music Festival, Pemberton Festival and Bobolink Music Festival. In 2012, Papa Josh released his first solo studio album, "River of Time", recording almost all the instruments, vocals and effects himself. Half of the albums fourteen tracks feature friend and former bandmate Ryan Krieger on drums and a fabulous percussion solo. The rest is all Papa Josh.
In addition, PJ joined forces with Krieger and Seattle trumpet icon Chris C.D. Littlefield in an exciting west coast funk/electronica project called Blusirkut. This group of well seasoned players paved the way for Klozd Sirkut, with whom Papa Josh continues to perform on guitar, bass, vocals and loops.
PJ gradually became an outside force in nearby Seattle's vibrant music scene, popping down for occassional shows and west coast tours until he decided to establish his own base there in late 2013.
In the few years since settling in Seattle, PJ has made his presence known via solo performances and shows with a variety of ensembles and great musicians including Klozd Sirkut, Tetrabox, 4Play featuring Seattle icons Skerik, Joe Doria and Davee C., Jessica Lurie, Marmalade, 6 Demon Bag and EKO!!! -- a revolutionary electronic trio that brings PJ's killer groove, looping and improvisational skills to the spotlight, with virtuosic funk accompaniment from keyboardist and vocalist Joey Walbaum and DJ and super tight funk drummer Davee C Carpenter. The evolution of an artist continues and the mission to make all the people of the world celebrate and dance continues.