Berklee Student

Josh Plotner

Berklee Student
"Making the simple complicated is commonplace;making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity"-Mingus 
Brooklyn, NY
Member since 2011
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About Me


Josh Plotner is an award-winning alto/soprano/tenor/baritone saxophonist, flutist, clarinetist, oboist, EWI player, composer, and arranger from the Chicagoland area. He has performed with jazz masters such as Roy Hanes, Victor Goines, Jeff Coffin, Rufus Reid, Ted Nash, Elliot Mason, Carlos Henriquez, Joel Spencer, Joan Hickey, Mark Colby, and Kelly Sill. He plays mostly jazz, and also has extensive experience in classical, musical theater, and rock music. Currently, he is a student at Berklee College of Music, and is pursuing a double major in Performance and Jazz Composition.
Josh Plotner began his musical journey at age 9 with the alto saxophone. As soon as he started playing, he fell in love with it. Once he learned how to put the instrument together, he instantly began learning the melodies to his favorite songs, with or without sheet music. In eighth grade, Josh decided to focus on a more serious musical path. He began studying privately with Mark Colby and participating in Midwest Young Artists, a youth program which offers high-level ensembles and instruction, which were instrumental in his musical development. By his senior year in high school, he was playing in two orchestras, a saxophone quartet, three big bands, two jazz combos, a symphonic band, a woodwind sextet, and musical pit orchestras. He was studying flute, clarinet, and saxophone simultaneously with some of the most well respected teachers in Chicago. After high school, Josh attended Northwestern University for a year, studying with Victor Goines, before going to Berklee. At Berklee, he has found an extensive, but tight-knit, network of musical peers and is in as many ensembles as possible, and he occasionally gigs in and around Boston.

Artist Statement

I endeavor to create music that fills people with a sense of awe. I see music in particular as an art form that distills emotions, and is able to instill individuals with new, powerful feelings that can only be found in the deepest parts of the psyche. I feel that these emotions are not limited to any genre; therefore my music similarly lacks this limit.
I create music in both live performance and compositionally. As a performer and improviser, I express a sense of now. I create a sense of the present that will never quite exist again, and live in that moment. Primarily I do this through saxophone, flute, and clarinet, which are to me the best mediums to express myself through. As a composer, I create works that transcend time. These works are meant to feel natural, while having an underlying and layered complexity to them. One does not need to think about my compositions to understand them, but one can.

Experience & Education


  • Tenor Sax for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
    June 2013 to August 2013 (2 months)

    Tenor saxophone in Oasis of the Seas Orchestra Reason for Leaving: End of Contract


  • BM in Perfomance and Jazz Composition at Berklee College of Music
    2011 to 2014 (3 years)
  • BM in Jazz Studies at Northwestern University
    2010 to 2011 (1 years)