Born in Moline, Illinois, and now residing across the river in Davenport, Iowa, Josh Duffee is regarded as one of the world’s greatest 1920’s style percussionists. He has performed at numerous jazz festivals and concerts all around the world, including England in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013, and Australia in 2001, 2003, 2011 and 2013.
Josh is the leader of many groups in the Quad City area, including the following: Josh Duffee & His Graystone Monarchs (20’s and 30’s), Josh Duffee & His Orchestra (20’s-40’s), The Josh Duffee Jazz Quartet (30’s and 40’s), and the Soon-To-Be Named Synth-Pop Band. He is also a sideman in many other groups, and is called to perform with groups all over the country in almost every music style. He also leads his Jazz Quartet at the Hotel Blackhawk in downtown Davenport every Sunday morning for their acclaimed jazz brunch.
Josh’s groups have received awards and recognition for their hard work and passion for performing music from the 1920’s. They received the “Jean Goldkette Award of Excellence” from Alann Krivor, grand-nephew and President of the Jean Goldkette Foundation, in 2002. They also received a special recognition award from the board of directors at the Detroit International Jazz Festival for honoring the music and tradition of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra in 2011. He was also asked by the family of Louie Bellson to play taps at Louie’s private family burial in Moline in 2009, and a solo at his headstone dedication in May of 2010.
Josh’s jazz drumming influences are as follows: Chauncey Morehouse, Louie Bellson, Gene Krupa, Zutty Singleton, Baby Dodds, Vic Berton, Sonny Greer, Teddy Brown, Stan King, Kaiser Marshall, Paul Barbarin, Ray Bauduc, Chick Webb, Ben Pollack, Ray McKinley, and countless others!
Along with performing, Josh is also an accomplished jazz historian. He has given lectures and presentations in high schools and colleges on Jean Goldkette and Chauncey Morehouse. In March of 2011, Josh presented his research on Chauncey Morehouse at the Round-Table Seminar for Rutgers University, where the Jazz Institute of Studies calls home in New Jersey. He is also starting to write two books on Jean Goldkette and Chauncey Morehouse. He has started research on the great xylophonist from the 1910’s to 1940’s named Teddy Brown (Abraham Himmelbrand).
Josh’s music library consists of over 3,000 arrangements from the 1920’s-1940’s, as well as over 1,000 78rpm records. He takes pride in representing the 1920’s to the 1940’s authentically with the music he plays from the eras by surrounding himself with like-minded musicians in his groups.
Outside of his jazz background, Josh is an accomplished percussionist who teaches privately in Davenport. He was a member of The Metrolites in the early 2000’s which evolved out of the trio called The Anachronistics. In his high school days he spent time watching his drum teacher Joel Dick perform with The Kabalas around town, and would go down to The Hunter’s Club in Rock Island to hear The Riverboater’s Jazz Band and have a sit-in as well.
Josh started rock drumming to great bands like Kajagoogoo (Jez Strode), China Crisis (Kevin Wilkinson), REM (Bill Berry), ABC (David Palmer), Thompson Twins (Boris Williams), and many others when he first started playing. These drummers had a huge impact on his drumming life. You’ll find him at shows all over the world watching these groups in person that he grew up listening to, and you’ll also see him trying to catch as many concerts with Jonathan Atkinson behind the drums!
Today he’s ready to jump into a new project with musicians in the Quad Cities while continuing his jazz groups. His new 6-piece band will play covers and original music from the synth-pop era around the area when all the musicians have time in their schedules to make a show happen.
For more information about the groups Josh is involved with, click on the Bands tab above to learn about each one. If you’re interested in Private Drum Lessons, please click on that tab for more information. You’ll find Josh’s basic contact information located in the Contact tab.
Thanks for checking out my website. Check back for updates and new gigs in my calendar when they become available.