Joshua Mark Bowlus grew up in Port Orange, FL and was the oldest child of three. As a young child, every time he saw a piano he would run up to it and bang on the keys. Acknowledging his obvious attraction to the instrument, Joshua's parents started their young child out on the Suzuki method with private lessons at home around age 5. Joshua continued to train classically throughout his childhood and teenage years through private lessons at Stetson University until he began high school. He credits both his high school band director Andrew Kidd and local jazz pianist/teacher Harold Blanchard for sparking his interest in jazz. Noticing his strong passion and dedication to this American art form, his teachers and peers awarded him with the prestigious Louis Armstrong Jazz Award upon graduation. Starting in 2002, Bowlus continued his jazz education at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, studying under pianists Kevin Bales & Keith Javors. The head of UNF jazz and extraordinary alto saxophonist Bunky Green served as Joshua’s primary mentor through his later years in college. Since graduating from UNF in 2006, he has built his career as a jazz pianist while residing in Jacksonville, acting as both a bandleader for his own groups as well as a sideman for various other groups.
Joshua’s music has allowed him to perform in multiple popular jazz festivals and venues around the country, including the Jacksonville Jazz Fest, the Savannah Jazz Fest, the Monterey Jazz Fest, Kokopelli's Jazz Club, B-Sharp's Jazz Cafe, The Jazz Corner, and Iridium Jazz Club in NYC. He has also performed in a number of other locations around the globe, including France, Spain, and China. As the pianist for the UNF Jazz Ensemble One during his college years, the band played a two-week concert tour of China, and performed as a big band on the Great Wall of China.
While currently still residing in Jacksonville, Joshua currently performs as the bandleader for The Joshua Bowlus Trio, and plays regularly in local venues such as The Parlour, Blue Jay Listening Room, Breezy Jazz Club, The Volstead, and the Ritz Theatre. He has performed on stage with numerous well-known jazz artists on the scene including Bunky Green, Ulysses Owens, Barry Greene, Dennis Marks, Jazzmeia Horn, Yasushi Nakamura, Annie Sellick, Patrick Bartley, Jon Irabagon, Charanee Wade, and Chantae Cann. Bowlus collaborates regularly with local singing sensation Linda Cole, who is a family member of the Nat King Cole dynasty. Joshua is a founding member of the Jazz Conceptions Orchestra, a NYC-based 9-piece jazz ensemble. In his hometown he co-leads the Jax Jazz Collective, a modern jazz sextet which has recorded two albums thus far, each tributing a specific composer. Bowlus has recorded as a sideman with many other celebrated musicians on their own projects, including tenor saxophonist John Ricci, drummer Ben Adkins, electric bassist Jon Reshard (an album which includes guitarist Greg Howe and drummer Dave Weckl), drummer Larry Wilson, vocalist Carter Calvert, and alto saxophonist Daniel Dickinson. In 2021, he recently recorded with up-and-coming alto saxophonist DeAndre Lettsome for an album to be released at an undetermined date in the near future.
Joshua has focused much of his performances in the last few years around tributes to the masters, including pianist Ahmad Jamal and Ray Brown. He released his first official album as a bandleader as a collaboration with vocalist Linda Cole awhile back in 2014. In addition, he has co-produced and released two albums with the Jax Jazz Collective in 2015. Due to personal reasons related to the health of his youngest son, many of his recording plans were put on hold for a few years. In 2021, he is now working on a project to be recorded this year that will include more original work, and another album in the works which features his own arrangements of well-known Disney melodies. Bowlus is married to his wife Brandy and has two young boys, Owen and Ethan. He currently resides in Jacksonville, and performs locally and regionally as a freelance pianist.