Biography

Atlas Maior creates original music that combines elements of Progressive Jazz, Middle Eastern, Latin American, and Indian music traditions. Band members Joshua Thomson (alto saxophone, flutes), Josh Peters (oud, lavta), Create a unique sound that balances intimate moments of sincerity with powerful melodies and incendiary rhythmic passages. Bolstered by a top-notch rhythm section, Atlas Maior writes original melodies exploring maqamat (Middle Eastern modal system) and harmonic progressions found in American jazz. The group composes with a wide variety of rhythms and incorporates traditional instruments including the Indian tablas, Middle Eastern dumbek, & Peruvian cajón. 

As an ensemble, Atlas Maior has released 5 studio albums, most recently RIPTIDE, voted a 2019 Top 100 Austin release by The Austin Chronicle. The group has garnered positive reviews and media placement from Public Radio International (PRI The World), New York Daily Music, Jazz Journal U.K., Medium,  Afropop Worldwide, KUTX Austin's NPR Affiliate, All About Jazz, Tokyo Jazz Site, Song Lines, UTNE Reader, Glide Magazine, Earmilk, Midwest Review, and more. Atlas Maior has toured internationally in France, Spain, and Turkey, and has received hometown recognition as 2019 Creative Ambassadors to the City of Austin. Other accolades include placement in the Marrakech Biennale 5 in 2014 (Marrakech, Morocco), and recipient of the City of Austin's Proclamation: March 27th, 2014 as "Atlas Maior Day” by Austin’ City Council. 

The group has opened for internationally acclaimed artists Kaki King, Vieux Farka Touré, Tal National, and have performed at music festivals including SXSW, Austin Days (Angers, FR), Pueblos Blancos (Andalusia), Wobeonfest, Art Outside, and the City of Austin’s F1 Fan Fest. Atlas Maior has collaborated with a host of talented musicians in Angers, Austin, Barcelona, Istanbul, and from around the world, including Lou Lou Ghelichkhani of Thievery Corporation, Raquy Danziger, Ali Pervez Mehdi, Fared Shafinury, Indrajit Banerjee, Alán Chehab Quartet, The University of Texas at Austin Middle East Ensemble Bereket, The Austin Global Orchestra and many more.