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Josh Hoover

Updated: Oct 24, 2020

Drummer Josh Hoover has played in classical and jazz settings, and even spent a year-and-a-half touring with a rock band in a secondhand truck. But after that truck broke down in the desert, and after his four snowy years at Indiana University, he realized the Holy City and its alluring waterfront were calling him back. “Charleston is just so beautiful to me,” he says. “I knew the music scene was really good and only getting better.”

Hoover grew up in the Mount Pleasant suburb of Charleston, where he discovered his love of percussion in his middle and high school bands. He initially majored in classical music at university. A highlight of his time there was studying under Steve Houghton, whom he describes as one of the greatest drumset teachers in the country. Working with Houghton influenced his decision to change his major to jazz. While his classical background was invaluable, jazz, he says, “was a better sort of expression of musicality for me. One of the big draws was the interactive element.”

Reflecting on his experiences playing at restaurants around Charleston, Hoover remarks, “I’m very thankful there’s a place like Forte… one of the only places that’s for jazz that you can just go and listen.” Forte is a venue “…for jazz musicians to be featured and not just put in the background.”

Though he performs mainly on drums, Hoover is a multi-instrumentalist who plays a range of classical percussion instruments as well as piano, bass and guitar, the latter two of which he says he has spent a lot of time working on during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the economic slowdown, Hoover says of Charleston: “I think the jazz scene is certainly alive and well. I think there’s always room for growth.”

Hoover will be playing at Forte Jazz Lounge on Saturday November 7th; Friday & Saturday November 13th and 14th; Friday November 20th; and Saturday November 28th. For more about Josh Hoover, visit his website at He can be reached by e-mail at

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