Joshua Panda blends folk, rock and gospel
Written by ALEX ALUSHEFF Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 20 July 2012 08:48
When musician Joshua Panda takes the stage, he’s ready to give an “electrified” performance.
“The unseen connection you get with the audience has the capability to make the hair on your arm stand up,” Panda said. “There’s something special when you’re playing music that you just can’t duplicate anywhere else.”
Panda, 27, will get the chance to duplicate his feeling with local audiences at The Black Swamp Arts Festival in September. Panda will open the festival with a 5 p.m. show on the main stage Sept. 7. He’ll also perform sets   n the Acoustic Stage and Family Entertainment Stage on Sept. 8.
Hailing from Charlotte, N.C., Panda describes his musical style as heavily influenced by gospel and folk rock.
As a writer, Panda said the works of Paul McCartney, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger influenced him due to their “ability to encompass a broad spectrum of genres and write on multiple platforms.”
When it comes to his delivery, Panda said his gospel roots come into play. “I was in the church choir and my mother was a gospel singer so I grew up with it.”
Panda started a band in high school and hasn’t stopped making music since. He has been touring since
2008, sharing the stage with Brett Michaels of Poison and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top.
While Panda is relatively new to the Ohio music scene, playing once before in Columbus, he is not new to festival performances.
“In a festival, you have to work harder to keep an audience because you have a lot of competition,” he said. “You have to put on your best and know how to keep an audience going – I like the challenge.”
Panda said his acoustic set gives him the opportunity to switch up his set. “I am able to showcase softer songs and show the audience variety and range of performance.”
Some songs that can be expected in the acoustic set are “It’s all relative” and “Are you hurting at all?” from his self-titled album.
On the main stage and on the family stage he’ll present his full band, Josh Panda and the Hot Damned, a five-piece band that combines rock n’ roll with a mid-60s soul feel.
“The authenticity of our show is very real,” Panda said. “Our music translates to the crowd and is very available — we don’t put ourselves in some other world or hold ourselves higher to anyone.”
For more information on Joshua Panda, visit his website at To see a list of the festival’s music performances, visit
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 July 2012 14:51

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