Joshua Raoul Brody

BATS Company member since: 1986
BATS Coach since: 1988

Joshua Raoul Brody has been accompanying the members of BATS Improv since long before its origin—he first worked with Barbara Scott when she was with the legendary Santa Cruz troupe Screaming Mimis in the late ‘70s, and soon thereafter joined Reed Kirk Rahlmann (and BATS alumnus Brian Lohmann, as well as Greg Proops and Micheal McShane) in Faultline. BATS founding member William Hall and his fellow Fratelli Bologna guested at a Dumb Songs Festival thrown by Brody’s band, The STUPEDS, in the early 80s. One of Brody’s first contacts with his wife, Juliana Grenzeback, was when she was BATS's first producing director/stage manager/chief cook and bottle sweep, and he shared accompanying duties with Joe Paulino and Michael Whiteley.

Mr. Brody came to improv from the pop music field, although he was always attracted to bands with a comic/theatrical flavor--the Mothers of Invention, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Moving from New York in 1974, following a brief stay at Boston's Berklee College of Music, Brody discovered the Bay Area to be a hotbed of comical musedy acts, and quickly found work as musical director for The Pointless Sisters and the Rick & Ruby Show (who later found a smidgen of fame on the Pee-Wee Herman HBO special). With Rick & Ruby, he went on tour with Robin Williams, both opening the show and accompanying Williams on a couple of songs. This led to an appearance on Mork & Mindy and other TV exposure, a period Brody refers to as "when we were almost famous". Through Williams, Brody met and began accompanying LA improv groups such as War Babies and the Comedy Store Players, but it wasn’t until he met Lohmann and Faultline that he began to pursue the craft of improv accompaniment regularly.

Brody is currently BATS Musical Director, accompanying many if not most of their main stage shows. He also is a teacher of song improvisation, often with Barbara Scott, and the two of them are members of the a cappella improv choir Tonal Chaos. He is principal accompanist for True Fiction Magazine (of which he was a founding member) and 3 For All.

Outside of his improv work, Mr. Brody is a composer for film, video, corporate events and multimedia; is part of the quartet Tango No. 9; accompanies wacky multi-instrumentalist Ralph Carney and lounge mega-legend Mr. Lucky; and was cover boy for Orchestra Nostalgico's CD Club Foot Orchestra plays Nino Rota.  With Carney, BATS stalwarts Gerri Lawlor and David Norfleet, and bassist Allen Whitman he is plotting an all-improv band, with the working title World Premiere. Brody and long-time collaborator Merle "Ian Shoales" Kessler received rave reviews for Slouching Toward Disneyland, their most recent "one-man show so big it takes two guys and a six-pack of beer to do it", and are currently plotting to revive their mock folk act, And They're Cops!, about which he says, "We wanted to be the Steely Dan of the 2000s, but it looks like they've got a lock on that title themselves, so we're hoping 'Steely Dan of the 90s' isn't taken."

Joshua Raoul's Upcoming Classes:

8/29/2014 (10:00 AM) - Music Bootcamp

Q & A with Joshua Raoul Brody

You always race through the "homework" you assign at the end of your song improv classes. Is there any way to get a copy of it? 

Sure thing! Just download the homework instructions here!