Joshua Thompson

Special Guests:

Richard Dole - Trombone

Toni Moore - Dance

Ashlee Baskin - vocals

Mark Duerson - guest piano + vocals

Joshua Thompson is a pianist, social musicologist, teaching artist and producer. He is increasingly recognized on a national scale for his expertise on classical composers of African descent and the inherent cultural connectivity in the broader aesthetic of Black Arts movements.  As the 2020 Beckman Emerging Artist Fellow of the Arts Council of Indianapolis, he successfully completed his residence at the Africana Studies Center for Music and Society at the Berklee School of Music in Boston.


Joshua is a classically trained and accomplished keyboard artist with a personal mission to exclusively program and perform classical masterworks by composers of African descent. In 2019 Joshua was namedPerformer in Residence for Eskenazi Health’s Marianne Tobias Music Program and a featured artist for the Arts Council of Indianapolis’ “Art and Soul Celebration.” Joshua has worked with legendary bassist John Clayton, Whoopi Goldberg, Smithsonian Research Fellow Dr. William C. Banfield, touring pianist Ric’key Pageot and renowned operatic soprano Angela Brown. His performance studies and experience began on piano at the age of 5, trumpet at age 10 and continued as an active member of the New World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s “Side-by Side” program.


In 2004, Joshua obtained a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana. He deftly merged his music and advocacy paths, working closely with an expanding range of Central Indiana cultural arts organizations and social agencies to facilitate access to educational resources. The Arts Council of Indianapolis, the Indiana Arts Commission, Music for All, Classical Music Indy, Arts for Lawrence, Arts for Learning, Morning Brown, Inc., Indy Jazz Fest, and a variety of Indiana-based artists have employed or consulted Joshua to ensure funding and support for their projects. 


In January 2018, Thompson debuted his first artistic production, “Village Voices: Notes from the Griot”—an original production that highlights the unsung and underperformed masterworks from artists of African descent. Making its world premiere at Newfields in Indianapolis, Thompson’s production continues to be performed on local stages and in classrooms throughout the Indianapolis metro area. In October 2019, he was a featured presenter for the popular TED Talk series. His creative output continues in 2020 with his inspired podcast series “Melanated Moments in Classical Music” from Classical Music Indy with co-host Angela Brown, originating from his hometown of Indianapolis. In 2021, Thompson is scheduled to perform with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, IN.

The Jazz Kitchen

5377 N. College Avenue Indianapolis, IN 46220

  • 317-253-4900
  • Street parking available