"Simply beautiful Cat... You can feel it in every note he plays"
Justin Kauflin is an award-winning “jazz pianist who favors a clarity of touch and ideas…his writing is balanced tempering post-bop intricacies with the assurances of the gospel church” -New York Times. After losing his sight at the age of 11, Kauflin gravitated towards playing jazz piano, despite having a background in classical violin & piano. He studied with Liz Barnes (Governor’s School for the Arts) and John Toomey (Old Dominion University) and was performing jazz professionally by age 14, most notably with the Jae Sinnett Trio. In 2008, he graduated summa cum laude from William Paterson University, NJ where he studied with his heroes, Mulgrew Miller and Harold Mabern, as well as being mentored by and performing with the legendary trumpet/flugelhorn player, Clark Terry (2010 Grammy winner for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz). As leader, player, composer and producer, Justin Kauflin has released 10 recordings to date and has collaborated on 30+ albums as sideman. In 2015, Justin had the incredible honor of performing on Oscar Peterson’s personal Bosendorfer for “Oscar with Love,” along with 16 world class pianists for Kelly Peterson and Mack Avenue Records. March 2023 marked Justin’s debut live-recorded vinyl, “Justin Kauflin Trio Live at Sam First” by Sam First Records. Justin Kauflin scored, and is featured in, the Oscar shortlisted documentary “Keep On Keepin’ On,” directed by fellow musician, friend and award-winning director Al Hicks and Oscar and Grammy winning composer, Dave Grusin. During the 5-year process, Justin was picked up for management by Quincy Jones and performed as a solo artist on his World Tours. The Justin Kauflin Trio went on to perform worldwide, as well as conduct jazz workshops, from 2015-2020. During the pandemic shutdown, Justin focused on film scoring and sound design, completing projects for full-length documentaries, commercials and trailers. Justin shares Clark Terry’s passion for jazz education through the Keep On Keepin’ On Jazz Outreach which includes a screening of the documentary, Q&A, student workshops, student jam sessions and concerts. As a U.S. Department of State Jazz Ambassador Justin gives workshops & concerts worldwide. He has been an adjunct faculty member/adjudicator for the Monterey Jazz Festival, Centrum Port Townsend Jazz, Vail Jazz Workshop, Lionel Hampton Jazz and Notre Dame Jazz with John Clayton and Jazz Maui with Katie Thiroux. Currently, Justin is on faculty and initiating “Jazz Nights” at the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA (Instrumental Music – Jazz). Justin Kauflin is dedicated to creating and sharing music that excites, energizes and nourishes the soul in multiple genres & media. He is signed for management by impresario and music icon, Quincy Jones and is a Yamaha Artist.