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Joshua Kadison

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Singer/songwriter Joshua Kadison believes songs have the power to awaken us to the sacredness of everyday life. “I write about the quiet things. I like exalting the small moments in our lives. A smile on an old woman’s face, some tears shared by good friends, love affairs that change us forever.” Common moments that most people overlook are the pearl’s that shine in Kadison’s songs.

His first collection of storysongs chronicling his experiences became the album Painted Desert Serenade. It struck a cord and sold three million copies world-wide launching the hits Jessie, Beautiful In My Eyes and Picture Postcards From L.A. Critics hailed Joshua as a return of the troubadour balladeer in popular music. Kadison has performed his storysongs on national television shows including “Late Night With David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Regis and Kathy Lee” and “Good Morning America.”

If you ask to see his Double Platinum, Platinum and Gold Record Awards from around the world he’ll show you a stack in the corner of his garage. “I haven’t taken the time to put them up. I guess I’d rather save the wall space for my friends’ art.

The history of his “overnight success” really began years earlier. He started his musical training with violin studies at age seven and the trumpet at nine. Joshua sat down to the piano at twelve and found he had the ability to play songs by ear.

At sixteen, shortly after the death of his mother, Joshua left school to realize his dream of seeing America. He played piano “anywhere and everywhere there was a piano to play” and made enough money to keep his clothes clean and his truck filled with gas. For twelve years he traveled the states playing bars, juke joints, dances and hotels. He even found work playing piano on a cruise ship that sailed the Caribbean. It was friends who finally urged him to take the next logical step with his music. He sent an unsolicited demo tape to a record company. Shortly after, Joshua found himself recording his first disc in London. What followed was a whirlwind of writing, recording, promoting and performing around the world. Along with fans, musical legends including Joe Cocker and Smokey Robinson discovered Joshua’s songs and recorded them on their own albums. Going from obscurity to platinum status recording artist in such a short time, Joshua found himself in need of a retreat from the hustle and bustle of the record business. “The fast lane is not really my style. I like taking the meandering scenic routes.” To the dismay of his managers and record company, he rented a remote cabin with no electricity or phones on an island off the coast of Washington State and stayed there “looking out the window at ocean for a year and a half and waiting for the craziness to die down.” His seclusion ended when, to honor contractual obligations, he returned to California and formed a new group of musicians to record his second release, Delilah Blue. The disc included two songs, Take It On Faith and Jus’ Like Brigitte Bardot, that have become favorites among Kadison fans. Critically acclaimed for it’s unique cinemascopic presentation of faith and the human condition, Delilah Blue’s success enabled Kadison to take a ten-piece band, his biggest ever, on the road throughout the US and countries he’d always wanted to visit including South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Shortly after returning to the States, Kadison’s label at the time, EMI Records North America, began it’s demise. Joshua found himself tied up in an eighteen-month legal battle with the troubled company to get his release. Kadison finally won his freedom earlier this year, ironically, six months after the label was officially shut down.

Unable to record during the legal battle, he wrote his first novel, Seventeen Ways To Eat A Mango and illustrated it with his own pen & ink drawings. Walt Disney’s publishing division, Hyperion Books, will be releasing the novel next spring. “I enjoyed writing Seventeen Ways To Eat A Mango so much,” he says, “that I bless my old label for giving me all that trouble, without which I probably wouldn’t have take the time to write it. And no, the story has nothing to do with the record business.” In another fateful twist, early this year after starting his third album, Joshua was introduced to Otelia Monterrey, a Native American medicine woman, who began teaching him the healing principles of sound. It didn’t take long for Joshua to realize he was spending more time studying than recording. He became Otelia’s full-time student shortly after. When asked about these ancient teachings all he says is, “I thought I new something about sound. Now I know that I know nothing. And I’m excited by the possibilities.” As a way of thanking his fans for their long wait for new music, Joshua has recorded an EP of piano/vocal performances of five of his favorite new songs. The signed, limited edition release will be made available only through his web site or directly through his label, Storyville Records. As far as completing his next major release he says, “I’ll definitely finish it, but right now my soul is calling me to travel this path with Otelia. I need to follow where it leads. Every time I think I have a plan for my life I realize the Universe usually has something different planned for me.”

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