PARIS ESCOVEDO TRIBUTE TO COKE ESCOVEDO
GRAMMY MUSEUM'S JANE ORTNER AWARD LUNCHEON
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Written by Bridgid Brousseau
“I like to drum, I like to hum. I like to listen, I like to hear. I did all of this, this year.” ~Joshua Grant, nine year old musical prodigy, poet~
Drummer, Joshua Grant is an exemplary representation of the unique gifts few are born with that naturally reveal themselves and flourish when allowed to instinctively flow. With the loving support of a wonderful family, Josh has accomplished at nine years old that which many adult musicians strive throughout their lifetime to accomplish.
He recently appeared on the Harry Connick, Jr. Show flexing his incredibly gifted drumming skills. One of his many wishes has also come true. His talent also captured the attention of Executive Vice President and Producer, Melanie G. of London 5 Studios, London England, which landed him a television role many child actors only dream of. He has been added to the cast of the "Little Melanie” television series now in production inspired by jazz legend and prodigy, Hazel Scott. He will play the character of “Aden Cartier.” I'm honored that he accepted the invitation to stop by the Woodshed and share a glimpse into his life as a musical prodigy.
Brdgid: Congratulations on all of your success Joshua! Do you realize how truly special and gifted you are?
Joshua : I am blessed, I am gifted and today is the day that I am totally blessed because of the television show I found out about. God gave me all of these blessings and without them I don’t know what I would do right now.
Bridgid: Amen. It’s a beautiful thing to have God in your life. Yes, you were truly blessed today. You’re going to be playing the principle role of “Aden Cartier,” in the “Little Melanie.” television series. How do you feel?
Joshua: I feel excited and happy! I feel a lot right now!
Bridgid: I saw you on the “Harry Connick, Jr. Show,” you looked so relaxed and calm. Many musicians say they get nervous before they go on stage but it goes away once they are in front of the audience. Do you get nervous before you play?
Joshua: I did get nervous once. That was when I was performing in school at this audition for a talent show and I was scared. I had stage fright. There were a lot of people there. My mom tried to cheer me up but that didn’t work. I was so scared. I thought if I could play a little bit I could get it all out but it didn’t work so I just didn’t do it. When I was on the "Harry Connick, Jr. Show" I felt like I was having fun. I felt like everybody appreciates me. In the talent show I wasn’t having fun.
Bridgid: How have your friends reacted to seeing you perform on the "Harry Connick, Jr. Show?"
Joshua: They were pretty surprised. Ever since that moment everybody in class likes me.
Bridgid: So you have a lot more friends than before?
Bridgid: Yeah, that’s usually how it happens so be prepared. Do you have a girlfriend?
Joshua : Well, I wouldn’t say I have one but I had one that didn’t go right.
Bridgid: What happened? Did you break her heart?
Joshua: I didn’t break her heart. She just moved to a different school. That’s all.
Bridgid: Oh, okay. Don’t go breaking any hearts. Tell us how you came to pick up a pair of drum sticks and what you liked about them.
Joshua: That was when I was 21 months old at my dad’s church. Everyone was so surprised that I was on beat.
Bridgid: Had you seen your dad or someone in the family perform?
Joshua: I just thought if others could play then I could do it to. Basically, I like the drum sound and you have your own solo too.
Bridgid: Who are some other famous drummers that you like?
Josh G: I really like Tony Williams and Vic Firth.
Bridgid: Those are good choices. Sometimes all you need is one or two favorites to keep you inspired just as you are going to inspire so many. Who are some of your favorite musicians or bands?
Joshua: Toni, Toni Toni, Tony Williams and Max Roach. Tony Williams is amazing! You should check him out.
Bridgid: I sure will. Who is exposing you to all of this wonderful music? Is it your mom and dad? Do you play around on YouTube watching videos or just listen to all types on the radio? I bet it's all of those.
Joshua: Yes, and sometimes when I play drums I'll make a video. I like to look at the camera and then see if I made a mistake so that I can go back a fix it.
Bridgid: So you’re a perfectionist?
Bridgid: Alright! That’s the way it should be. Nice! What type of music do you like to listen to?
Joshua: I like to listen to jazz, gospel and rock music. I like any type of music basically.
Bridgid: What are you going to do with your first millions dollars?
Joshua: I would buy lots of stuff for my family. I’m going to buy food, drinks, and clothes. Anything my parents could want.
Bridgid: So you’re going to have a big celebration. What do you think you mom would want?
Joshua: I think she’d want her own office.
Bridgd: What about your dad?
Joshua Oh, I know what he’d want! He'd want about ten motorcycles. My mom is a rider too. I could get their own biking room where there bikes are. Yeah!
Bridgid: You’re such an excellent drummer. What other things are you good at?
Joshua: Well, I’m good at sports; basketball, soccer, and football. I had an injury playing football so I started playing soccer. But I’ve been playing the drums my whole life.
Bridgid: W hat are your favorite subjects in school?
Joshua: Math and writing.
Bridgid: What do you like to write?
Joshua: I like to write poems.
Bridgid: What’s your favorite thing about playing the drums?
Joshua: My favorite thing about playing the drums is that I inspire other people to play drums. What I mean is that if you play the drums and other people look at you playing, that will make them want to play the drums too. It will make them feel better about themselves.
Bridgid: Do me a favor. Close your eyes. Are they closed?
Bridgid: You’re accomplishing so much at nine years old that so many musicians don’t accomplish in a lifetime. They say when you envision something, when you imagine something, it comes true. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Joshua: I see myself making lots of money. Helping my family, my dog and helping everybody I know. I see all of these people I want to help. I want to inspire other kids to play too and help other kids play drums.
Bridgid: What would you do to change the whole world?
Joshua: I never really thought about that actually. I think I would work hard to be a better person and work on my ethics.
Bridgid: That is a great answer Josh! If everyone did that the world would be a much better place.
Bridgid: When you wake up on a Saturday and you don’t have anything to do, yet you can do whatever you want for the whole day, what do you do?
Joshua: Play the drums.
Bridgid: Do you ever take a day off or do you practice every day?
Joshua: I practice everyday single day.
Bridgid: All of the great musicians that I have interviewed tell me the same thing. They practice every day. They are continuously learning something new and perfecting their craft. You have a wonderful future ahead of you.
Bridgid: Tell us, your fans, something about yourself that we may now know, anything at all.
Joshua: Well, when I was in football I was a guard. I still will not forget it. I was tackled by a guy named “Red”. He missed me the first time but he got me the second. I slipped back and hit my head. I was never able to play football again.
Bridgid: I’m sorry to hear that. But just look at you now!
Joshua: Also, when I was a baby I played the drums. Nobody taught me. I just played the drums. My heart told me that it was the right thing for me to do. Honestly, when I play the drums I always don’t get it. Everyday I just always say in my head, it’s always going to ugly before it gets pretty.
Bridgid: That’s a great saying and great advice! Who told you that? Was it your mom or dad?
Mom, Elissa Winston: I want to know too Bridgid!
Bridgid: Josh, you have a wonderful, beautiful bright future ahead of you. Don’t forget about me. Keep it up!
Joshua: I will never forget about you Bridgid. Thank you. It means a lot to me.
**click the link above to watch and his friends Joshua in action!**
Woodshed Jazz Magazine
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