Josh Rzepka Rising trumpet star from Chicago returns home to Akron for our Inaugural Season Kickoff Event!

Friday, October 24

Join us for a special evening at BLU Jazz+ as we welcome jazz trumpeter Josh Rzepka back to Akron! After recently relocating to Chicago, IL and accepting a position on the jazz faculty at the Merit School of Music, Josh and and an exciting Akron rhythm section will be featured on our stage in a must-hear homecoming event! Featuring Theron Brown (piano), Dan Wilson (guitar), Dan Pappalardo (bass), and Jonathan Suntken (drums).



Twenty-nine year old rising trumpeter and composer Josh Rzepka has been described as “a musician who doesn’t believe in limits” by the Tribune Chronicle, and as being “gifted” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He has been heralded not only for his jazz playing and composing, but for his classical trumpet playing as well. A native of Akron, OH, he now resides in Chicago, IL.


With his third jazz album Trumpet Genesis (2013), he follows up his release Into the Night , his debut classical CD Josh Rzepka: Baroque Music for Trumpet (2010), and his critically acclaimed debut jazz CD Midwest Coast (2009).


Quickly establishing himself as one of the most versatile upcoming performers in classical and jazz music, Josh has performed across the country at famed venues including Severance Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Cleveland’s NightTown, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Knitting Factory in NYC, and the Green Mill in Chicago. As a soloist Josh has presented recitals and concerts ranging from the baroque, to modern, to original jazz. Appearances include performing with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra led by internationally renowned trumpeter Sean Jones, as well as with many other groups and ensembles in the NE Ohio region.


In 2011 Josh was recognized by the Akron Area Arts Alliance with their 2011 Arts Alive! Rising Young Star award. This biennial award was a big honor for Josh and he was thrilled to receive recognition from his home town of Akron.


When you ask Josh which kind of music he enjoys performing the most, – classical or jazz – he’ll tell you, “As far as I am concerned, there are only two kinds of music: good and bad. Personally, I like playing good music. As soon as you start to classify music any other way, I think you miss out on its true spirit.”

7:00 pm, 9:00 pm


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BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018)
Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.