Joshua Zarbo is a musician and educator.
As a member of the acclaimed rock band Spoon for nearly a decade, Joshua played bass on many of the group’s most critically lauded and commercially successful releases, including the albums: Gimme Fiction (#1 Billboard Independent Albums chart), Kill The Moonlight, Girls Can Tell, and A Series Of Sneaks. His work with Spoon can also be heard on their recent “best of” collection, Everything Hits at Once: The Best of Spoon. As bassist and co-songwriter for MONAHANS, Joshua’s songwriting can be heard on MONAHANS’ albums, Leveler and Roam An Empty Space.
An accomplished educator and musicologist, Joshua has taught a wide variety of music courses at colleges and universities in Austin, Nashville, and New York. Serving in numerous positions, his work includes lecturing, ensemble directing, lab instruction, and one-on-one lesson teaching. Joshua has designed and managed the development of culturally responsive education resources for legendary musician and producer Little Steven Van Zandt‘s TeachRock arts integration curriculum for the last several years.
Joshua has a master’s degree in Music from Texas State University. His master’s thesis, James Jamerson: From Jazz Bassist to Popular Music Icon, details the profound influence of Motown bassist James Jamerson via a historical survey and musical analysis of the legendary musician’s career.
Recording studio work includes releases by: Spoon, Sondre Lerche, Eric Harvey, Bob Schneider, Kat Edmonson, The Band of Heathens, Miranda Dodson, Future Clouds & Radar, and MONAHANS. Joshua’s bass playing is featured on the soundtrack to the video game Undead Nightmare, part of the Red Dead Redemption series produced by Rockstar Games. Additionally, his studio work can be heard in film and television, as well as on streaming services and multiple web platforms.
Live performance and touring work includes: Spoon, Fred Armisen, David Cook, Bob Schneider, John Vanderslice, The Band of Heathens, Betty Soo, Jon Dee Graham, Miranda Dodson, Future Clouds & Radar, and MONAHANS. Numerous music festival appearances include: Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Pitchfork, and SXSW.
Joshua’s work both on stage and in the studio with artists and bands has been featured and reviewed in the Los Angeles Times, The London Times, Magnet, The New York Times, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Texas Monthly, TIME, and many other national and international publications.
Along the way, Joshua has performed on various local, national, and international media programs. Nationally, this includes performances on several network television late-night shows, as well as multiple appearances on the PBS music series, Austin City Limits. Internationally, he has performed on broadcasts for Canada’s CBC Radio 3 Concert Series, Australia’s Live At The Wireless on Triple J Radio, Germany’s historic music television show Rockpalast, and Britain’s famed BBC Radio1.