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Kauflin, Justin

Biography

New York-based jazz pianist, composer and producer, most notably known by his appearance in the award-winning documentary "Keep On Keepin' On" which was based on the mentorship/ friendship of Justin and legendary trumpeter, Clark Terry.
 
Born in Silver Spring, MD with a rare degenerative eye disease and totally blind by age 11, Justin adjusted by learning 5 grades of braille and cane mobility while simultaneously taking AP classes in high school and attending the Governor’s School for Performing Arts, graduating at the top of both classes. He began performing jazz professionally by age 15, attended the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency, Vail Jazz Workshop, won the VSA International Young Soloist Award, Veer Jazz Artist of the Year, a semi-finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and graduated Summa Cum Laude from William Paterson University.
 
Through his friendship with Cee Tee, Justin met, and subsequently signed by, Quincy Jones, joining him on a couple world tours, as well as co-produce his second album, "Dedication" which was a DownBeat magazine's Editor's Pick and #1 on JazzWeek Chart. 2014/15 was spent promoting both the documentary and the album with 2 European and several stateside Tours.
 
Kauflin currently resides in New York, touring Europe, and working on music for his third album.



Recordings

Fonnesbæk, Thomas / Kauflin, Justin: Synesthesia

New project from jazz bassist and household name on the Danish jazz stage, Thomas Fonnesbæk, with American composer and pianist prodigy, Justin Kauflin. 

 
Fonnesbæk himself recalls the beginning of the new project like this:
My first meeting with Justin Kauflin was in Copenhagen in the spring of 2015 at Jazzhouse Montmartre, together with his childhood friend and drummer, Billy Williams. When Montmartre's former music director Christian Brorsen introduced me to them, I immediately recognized how talented they were and that Justin's pianistic virtuosity and musicality would be a most treasured musical experience. 
 
Besides being a meeting between Justin and myself, it was a meeting of cultures with many similarities and many inspiring differences that we could express through sound in the universal language of music. We quickly discovered we also shared a neurological commonality in that we both have synesthesia, which in our case means seeing sounds as colors with our mind'...