It was there that he performed alongside his friend Robert Stewart (saxophonist).
In 1991, he graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Social Studies from Harvard University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society.
In early 2013, it was announced that Redman would release a new collection of vintage and contemporary ballads featuring a jazz quartet and an orchestral ensemble titled Walking Shadows.
Produced by Redman's friend and frequent collaborator Brad Mehldau, the album also features Larry Grenadier (bass) and Brian Blade (drums). About Walking Shadows, the New York Times says "there hasn’t been a more sublimely lyrical gesture in his 20-year recording career." On Sunday, December 8, 2013, Redman joined a group of jazz all-stars onstage at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, DC, to pay tribute to honoree Herbie Hancock in performance.
After graduation, Joshua frequented the classroom jam sessions of Bay Area pianist and professor of music (at Laney College in Oakland, California), Ed Kelly.Redman co-founded the SFJAZZ with Executive Director Randall Kline, as the SFJAZZ Collective, an ensemble distinguished by the creativity of its members and a primary emphasis on composition.In March 2007, Redman announced that he was taking a hiatus from both the SFJAZZ Artistic Directorship and the SFJAZZ Collective in order to focus on new projects.On his second album as a leader, Wish, he was joined by a notable lineup consisting of guitarist Pat Metheny, bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Billy Higgins; this group then toured as The Joshua Redman Quartet, featuring Christian Mc Bride in place of Charlie Haden.
He continued to work with various quartets, including one with pianist Brad Mehldau until forming a new trio, Elastic, with keyboardist Sam Yahel and drummer Brian Blade.In addition to his own projects, Redman has recorded and performed with musicians including Brian Blade, Ray Brown, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, The Dave Matthews Band, Jack De Johnette, Bill Frisell, Aaron Goldberg, Larry Goldings, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Roy Haynes, Billie Higgins, Milt Jackson, Elvin Jones, Quincy Jones, Big Daddy Kane, Geoff Keezer, B. King, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Letieres Leite & Orkestra Rumpilezz, DJ Logic, Joe Lovano, Yo Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis, Christian Mc Bride, John Medeski, Brad Mehldau, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, Paul Motian, Me Shell Ndegeocello, Leon Parker, Nicholas Payton, John Psathas, Simon Rattle, Dewey Redman, Dianne Reeves, Melvin Rhyne, The Rolling Stones, The Roots, Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Scofield, Soulive, String Cheese Incident, Clark Terry, Toots Thielemans, The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Mark Turner, Mc Coy Tyner, Umphrey’s Mc Gee, US3, Bugge Wesseltoft, Cedar Walton, Stevie Wonder and Sam Yahel.