kosher gospel singer
Highlights of Joshua's brilliant career include recording "How I Got Over", a Mahalia Jackson staple, at age 13, singing at the request of the Vaughan family at the funeral of legendary jazz diva Sarah Vaughan, at age 15, and singing at New York City's Lincoln Center in the 1993 JVC Jazz Festival, thus maintaining his special link with Mahalia Jackson, whose appearance in the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival introduced Gospel music to a deeply appreciative audience. In 1995, Joshua and Mahalia Jackson's pianist, Eddie Robinson (who performed together extensively) accepted an award on behalf of Ms. Jackson for her induction into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa , Oklahoma . In 1998, Joshua was selected to honor Ms. Jackson in her hometown of New Orleans , La. , where the National Postal Service unveiled its series of Gospel music stamps honoring Ms. Jackson, Clara Ward, Rosetta Thorpe, and Roberta Martin. In 2001, he sang before the Swedish prime Minister, Goran Persson, and various officials at the opening of the Padei Institute for Jewish Studies. He was made an Official "Ambassador of Peace through Song" by the Swedish government. Keep On Walking, a recently released 60 minutes documentary film on Mr. Nelson, tells the story of this artist's unique ability to blend the cultural and religious aspects of his life evoking the spirit of the great Mahalia Jackson while taking audiences by storm. The film has been aired on national television in Sweden , Denmark , France , Germany , Holland , Japan , Israel , and Italy . Still in its infancy, it has already garnered awards at various film festivals; most notably the Northampton Film Festival and The Newark Black Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Film (The Paul Robeson Award). Joshua, along with the Jubilee choir, a choir made up of people from different cultural, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, have performed at the following Film Festivals- The Northampton Jewish Film Festival, The Newark Black Film Festival, The Brooklyn Jewish Film Festival (Brooklyn Academy of Music), The Boston Jewish Film Festival, The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, The Berkshire Jewish Film Festival, The London Jewish Film Festival, The Toronto Jewish Film Festival, The Berlin (Germany) Jewish Film Festival, The Copenhagen (Denmark) Jewish Film Festival, The Miami Jewish Film Festival, The Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival, The West Hartford Jewish Film Festival, The Santa Rosa Jewish Film Festiva,l and the Jewish mini-series at the Manhattan Y. There are a great number of other Film Festivals that have shown this fascinating film but Mr. Nelson did not perform. Joshua's television credits include A+ for Kids on WWOR-TV, with Savion Glover for the Great, Great Kids series; SingSation, a Gospel program taped in Chicago and broadcast nationally on CBS-TV (1995-1997, 2005); and Black Entertainment Television's Bobby Jones Gospel (1995-2003). While still in high school, Joshua organized a choir, which provided the music for the WWOR-TV video, Volunteering: A Gift of Time, sponsored by PSE&G (1992). The video debuted in Trenton , where the group performed for then Governor Jim Florio. The Film Keep on Walking aired on PBS and affiliate networks nationally in 2003 and 2004. Internationally it aired on the national networks of Sweden , Denmark , France , Germany , Holland , Japan , Israel , and Italy in 2003 and 2004. Mr. Nelson also appeared on the The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired October 2004 and December 2004. Along side Jamie Fox, Mr. Nelson was named by Oprah as The Next Big Thing. Performing How I Got Over a song that Oprah works out to and Elijah Rock Oprah remarked, I have never heard a voice like his, he literally brought the house down. Most recently Ms. Winfrey along with Maya Angelou (poet and best selling author) presented Mr. Nelson in An Evening of Healing, a benefit concert for the Maya Angelou Center for Minority Research in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Nov, 2004). Joshua graduated from Newark 's Arts High School in Newark , New Jersey , a school that also produced noteworthy graduates like the late Sarah Vaughan, Melba Moore, Andy Bey, Tisha Campbell, Frankie Negron, and Savion Glover. Joshua was the school's official soloist for the four years he studied there. He went on to do a two year college and kibbutz program in Israel studying at the Hebrew Union College as well as the Hebrew University . He currently serves as director of music at Hopewell Baptist Church in Newark, NJ, which is housed in a former synagogue (the former B'nai Jeshurun), and is a Hebrew school teacher for 6,7 and 8th graders at Temple Shari-Tefilo Israel, located in South Orange, NJ. Joshua has conducted extensive research on Mahalia Jackson and on the other Gospel luminaries, and has presented seminars on the history of Gospel music to young audiences. He is a proponent of preserving traditional Gospel music and travels worldwide performing the music in its original form. His cultural and religious background and extensive travels through Israel influenced him to pioneer a new form of music he has termed KOSHER-GOSPEL MUSIC - Hebrew/Jewish music with a soul feeling. Growing up in a black Jewish synagogue, Joshua decided to take the soul Hebrew sounds prominent in many black synagogues and take them to the outside world, blending Jewish Liturgical and African American musical styles. In Joshua's own words, Since the Jewish nation started in Africa , musically she shall return. Through his unique talent, Electrifying performances and profound commitment to spiritual music, Joshua is transforming new listeners everywhere. I want to let people hear it and realize that it is not just good to listen to - it is good for the soul."