Josh Duffee and The Graystone Monarchs

Josh Duffee was born in Louis Bellson’s hometown of Moline, Illinois, and has resided across the river in Bix Beiderbecke’s hometown of Davenport, Iowa, for the past 15+ years. He’s a very versatile musician, specializing in drumming and xylophone playing from the 1920s to the 1940s,while also performing a variety of other styles of music. He has been performing professionally for the past 20+ years, along with teaching private percussion and drum set lessons to middle and high school students. He has been a featured musician at jazz festivals and events all over the world, including tours of England and Australia. He has also been featured at venues across the United States.

He is the leader of The Graystone Monarchs, a 10-piece dance band that performs music from the 1920s and 1930s. The group performs arrangements which would have been heard at the Graystone Ballroom in Detroit, with their music coming from the libraries of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra (1924-1929), McKinney’s Cotton Pickers, Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, Frank Trumbauer Orchestra w/Bix Beiderbecke, Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Orchestra, King Oliver Orchestra, and many more groups!

Josh is also a jazz historian on the lives and music of specific musicians from the 1920s, including bandleader Jean Goldkette, and drummers Chauncey Morehouse, Vic Berton, and xylophonist Teddy Brown. He has grown-up listening to a variety of drummers from the 1920s-1940s, and draws influence from the three listed above, as well as Leroy Maxey, Ben Pollack, Sonny Greer, Abe Lyman, Zutty Singleton, Baby Dodds, Ray Bauduc, Louis Bellson, and many others.

Over the years, Josh has received awards and recognition from jazz festivals and organizations for his dedication and hard work with early jazz music. Some of his awards include The Jean Goldkette Award of Excellence from The Jean Goldkette Foundation; a Special Recognition Award from The Detroit Jazz Festival for honoring the music and tradition of the Jean Goldkette Orchestra; and the Bix Lives Award from the Bix Beiderbecke Museum and Archives in Davenport, Iowa.

The Graystone Monarchs feature some of the best musicians who perform the music true to the era, taking you back in time to what it would have sounded like if you were listening to the original group in-person.

Josh Duffee