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Official Website:

www.JustinKauflin.com

BIO

​"Simply beautiful Cat.  You can feel it in every note he plays"  -QUINCY JONES

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 received top honors at jazz festivals across the U.S. and began 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; and was mentored by and performed with the legendary trumpet/flugelhorn player, Clark Terry (2010 Grammy winner for Lifetime Achievement in Jazz).  He continued to garner numerous awards such as the VSA International Young Soloist Award, selected as a semifinalist in the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, and voted “Jazz Artist of the Year” in VEER Magazine. 

 

Kauflin is featured in, as well as composed the film score for, the Oscar short-listed documentary, "Keep On Keepin' On.” Justin shares Clark Terry's passion for jazz education through the Keep On Keepin' On Jazz Outreach and as a U.S. Department of State Jazz Ambassador.  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.

 

As leader, player, composer and producer, Justin Kauflin has released 10 recordings to date and collaborated on 30+ albums. 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 and in March 2023 Justin released his first vinyl live recording, "Justin Kauflin Trio Live at Sam First."

 

During the pandemic shutdown, Justin focused on film scoring and sound design, completing projects for full-length documentaries, commercials and trailers.  

Justin Kauflin is dedicated to creating and sharing music that excites, energizes and nourishes the soul.  He is signed for management by impresario and music icon, Quincy Jones and is a Yamaha Artist.

PROMO PHOTOS & VIDEO

AWARENESS
&
ACCESSIBILITY

​"Being blind is only a part of who we are ... it should never be something that defines us"  -jk

Justin Kauflin was born with a condition that affected both eyes called proliferative exudative retinopathy, rendering him totally blind by age 11. 

In his transition from 'low-vision' to total blindness, Justin received adaptive services provided by the Virginia Beach public school system.  From elementary through high school, itinerant vision teachers enabled his attendance alongside his sighted peers in classes ranging from Japanese to AP Physics as well as 3 forms of Braille (literary, math and music), O & M (orientation & mobility) skills with the white cane, and vocational rehabilitation provided by the  DBVI (VA Dept. for the Blind and Vision Impaired).

 

The NJ Commission for the Blind provided a few days of O&M to navigate the campus of William Paterson University.  Throughout his years there, the National Library Service of the Library of Congress in Washington, DC sent brailled classical music scores upon request, free of charge.  Justin utilized Dancing Dots and Avid Sibelius to write and score music for assignments and provide charts to his Trio.  

Programs such as the Kennedy Center VSA advocates disability awareness around the world, and continues to promote artists with disabilities.  They, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State, sent Justin as a Jazz Ambassador to share his experiences as well as perform for Jazz Week in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. 

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enables travel by providing assistance between airport gates, ADA-abiding car services, allowances for a PCA (Personal Care Assistant), and most recently, the Hampton Roads Para Transit service to and from work.  The ADA also opened the door to restaurant- and movie-going with braille menus, allowances for guide dogs, and DVS (Descriptive Video Services).  And, at The Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ, Justin was matched and trained for a month 24/7 with Candy, his sweet guide dog for an incredible 12 years. 

Advancements in assistive technology has allowed vision-impaired/blind individuals to be on slightly more even ground with their sighted colleagues.  The Apple iPhone has built-in accessibility features such as screen readers, voice-to-text capabilities and GPS, which are extremely useful, if not life-saving!  Recent tech innovations, specifically with Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol allows Justin to finally utilize software he has owned for over a decade, launching a whole new world to explore producing sound designs, film scores and music to professional standards.

RESOURCES

for the blind musician-producer

Promo Photos

QUOTES

“Make sure you have enough time to absorb all the beautiful things in Justin’s talent…his timing, rhythm, technique and exactness…See if you’ll agree with me. He’s a monster on the piano! And, one of the greatest people I know” -CLARK TERRY

 

“What I liked about Justin was he’d done his homework. God gives you the right brain, everyone’s got emotion, but you gotta practice, you gotta put the left-brain work in. You need musicality AND discipline.” -QUINCY JONES in The New Yorker

 

“Simply beautiful cat…you can feel it in every note he plays” -QUINCY JONES

 

“There are so many beautiful things about Justin's playing -- the best being his spirit and spirituality.  It's commendable he has that kind of relationship with the instrument and the music.  He is accomplishing great things!” -MULGREW MILLER

"What separates American jazz pianist Justin Kauflin from his rivals is the soulfulness of his repertoire.  This is a musician who wants to do more than make you admire his virtuosity" -THE TIMES

"Kauflin's strengths are a concern for touch and dynamics, a willingness to explore harmonic depth, swing, and a romantic's experiential hunger toward repertory.  He can take a simple motif like the Beatle's 'Day in the Life' and make a swinging concerto out of it" -LOS ANGELES TIMES

"Kauflin is without a doubt a virtuoso; he plays with a compelling and soulful passion, and definitely worth catching live" -JAZZ IN EUROPE 

"...the exquisite nature of Justin Kauflin’s playing, so wise beyond his years and so wonderfully articulate that it is bordering on genius. Dedication is a testament to sheer brilliance of technique and unbridled imagination." -WORLD MUSIC REPORT (Dedication)

"Meanwhile Mr Kauflin wishes to – and succeeds in – opening our minds to his world that is “extremely colourful and textured.” And we ought to consider it a privilege to be admitted into this place where the music glitters as if by the magic, glimpsed by moonlight that is somehow transformed from something ink-dark, into a vividly colourful landscape. For in sheer colour, texture and variety, in the depth of characterisation and in the exceptional range and refinement of his pianism, Mr Kauflin here imparts an enormous power and stature to this music. With buoyant, aristocratic grace and almost insolently effortless virtuosity he makes this music come alive for us." -JAZZDAGAMA (Coming Home)

PRESS

PAST PERFORMANCES

SOUTH AMERICA
Brazil | Teatro Coliseu, Sao Paulo

 

CENTRAL AMERICA -
MX | Teatro Juarez, Guanajuato
MX | Cultura Campeche, Campeche

 

CARIBBEAN ISLANDS
Dominican Republic | DR Jazz Fest

 

CANADA
Ottawa | Oscar Peterson Tribute
Ontario | Bravo Niagara!
Toronto | Royal Conservatory
Belleville | Belleville Film Festival

 

ASIA
UAE | Abu Dhabi Festival
UAE | Q’s Bar and Lounge, Dubai
Indonesia | Java Jazz Festival
S. Korea | SK Gym
Japan | Blue Note Tokyo
Japan | International Forum, Tokyo
Japan | Green Arena, Hiroshima
Japan | GS Arts, Miyazaki

 

USA
WDC | Kennedy Center "3 for Ellington"
VA | Zeiders Theater, Virginia Beach
FL | Montreux in Miami Jazz Fest
OH | Ability Center Benefit
MO | Jazz St. Louis
MO | Starkloff Benefit
CA | Bach D&D
CA | Libretto
MO| Clark Terry Centennial
CA| Live recording - Sam First Records
CA| Thelonious Monk Gala
VA | Music in McLean Concert Series
CA | Lewis Family Playhouse
NYC | Mezzrow Jazz Club
CA | Museum of Making Music
CO | Dazzle Jazz Club
OH | Blu+ Jazz
NY | The Jazz Forum
CT | The Side Door
MA | Scullers Jazz
CA | Sam First
VA | Winter Blues Jazz Festival
CA | Alvas Showroom
CA | Contrapuntal Hall

WA | Upstream Music Festival

AR | Walton Arts Center

NYC | Club Bonafide

NJ | WPU Jazz Room

CA | Montalbon Theater

NYC | Django Jazz

NY | Bard College

NJ | Ridgewood Library

NYC | Bar Lunatico

MA | Berkshire Gateway Jazz

NYC | Bobo’s

NYC | Settepani's

NJ | Morris Museum

NYC | Top of the Standard

NYC | Whitney Museum

NJ | Drew University

CA | EG Conference

MO | We Always Swing

VT | St. Michaels College

WDC | NEA Jazz Masters KC

ID | Lionel Hampton Jazz Fest

CA | Blue Whale

CA | Queen Latifah Show

WA | The Triple Door

CA | SOhO Music Club

CA | Monterey Jazz Festival

WA | D'mitrious Jazz Alley

CO | Vail Jazz Festival

NJ | Bickford Theater

CA | Encore 2016

VA | Old Dominion University

NY | Rochester Inst. Tech

CA | Wallis-Annenburg

NYC | Subrosa

CA | EDYE Broad Stage

CA | Jazz at A-Frame

RI | Roger Williams University

NYC | The Jazz Standard

NYC | Miles Cafe

WDC | Kennedy Center Jazz Club

WDC | Bohemian Caverns

WDC | Twins Jazz Club

CO | Baurs

CO | Wheeler Opera House

WDC | Library of Congress

WDC | Westminster Jazz

VA | JAM INC

VA | Westminster-Canterbury

NYC | Baruch College

NY | Jacob Burns Center

NYC | Rockwood Music Hall

VA | Havana Nights

VA | Contemporary Arts Center

VA | Jazz on Taz

VA | Temple Beth El

TX | N. Texas Jazz Fest

WDC | Kennedy Center Millenium Stage

WDC | Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

VA | Main Street Jazz

VA | Chantilly Jazz Fest

WA | Icicle Creek Arts Center
PA | WCR Concert Hall
VA | The Tin Pan

TN | Story 2018

CA | Bacchus' Kitchen

OH | Rubber City Jazz Fest

CA | Filoli JazzCA | Oscar with Love

UT | John Clayton's Jazz Show

MI | Gilmore Keyboard Fest

 

EUROPE

Denmark | Jazzhus Montmartre

Denmark | Cafe Divini

Denmark | Hasseris Kirke

Denmark | Mejeriet Torup

Denmark | Hvide Lam

Denmark | Drop Inn

Sweden | Fulltofta

Denmark | Pakhuset Kulturhus

Italy | Teatro Garibaldi

Italy | Teatro Ristori

Italy | Teatro Sangiorio

Italy | Jazz Club Ferrara

Italy | Sina Brufani

Czech Rep | Anezsky Klaster

Latvia | Dzintari Concert Hall

UK | Pizza Express Live

Netherlands | Catharinakapel

France | Duc des Lombards

Austria | Treibhaus

Germany | Jazzahead! Showcase

Germany | Cinema Arthouse Blue Note

Netherlands | Junushoff Theater

Denmark | Dansk Jazz Historie

Denmark | Kerteminde

Denmark | Karrebaeksminde

Denmark | Askov Hoskole

Denmark | Bangsbostrand Kirke

Denmark | Audonicon

UK | Wigmore Hall

Netherlands | Theater de Meervaart

Italy | Blue Note Milan

Sweden | Fasching Jazz

Sweden | Malmo Jazz

France | International Jazz Day

Sweden | Nefertiti Jazz

Germany | Unterfahrt

Switzerland | Montreux Jazz Club

Denmark | Copenhagen Jazz Fest

Germany | Bix Jazz

Austria | Porgy and Bess

Netherlands | Bimhuis

Germany | Moments Musikclub

Germany | Jazz Ahead!

France | Jazz a Vienne

Rep. of Georgia | Griboyedov Theater

Rep. of Georgia | Balanchivadze

Netherlands | Lanteren Venster

Poland | Klub Zak

Czech Rep | Brno Filharmonie

Belgium | DeSinger

Great Britain | Ronnie Scott's Jazz

Norway | Baerum Kulturhus

Ireland | Guinness Jazz Fest

Ireland | National Concert Hall

Ireland | The Black Box

Switzerland | Salzhaus Brugg

Denmark | Jazzy Days

Croatia | Academy of Music

Ireland | Kilkenny Arts Fest

Italy | Time in Jazz Fest, Pattada

Italy | Time in Jazz Fest Berchidda

Germany | Schloss Elmau

Switzerland | Dracula Club

Italy | Umbria Jazz Festival

Latvia | Rigas Ritmi Festival

Denmark | STARS DK

France | Rhyme du Jazz

Spain | Jamboree Jazz

PUBLICATIONS

2006 - The Development of Jazz Education in the United States: Its Expansion and Key Contributors - An overview of social, cultural, economic, and/or political concepts that carries through and relates to all of jazz history

Discography as Leader

2024 - Justin Kauflin Trio: Live at Sam First (Sam First Records. Vinyl, digital)

2023 - Danish Rain (Thomas Fonnesbaek & Justin Kauflin. CD, digital)

2021 - Flow Freely (Jacob Collier & Justin Kauflin)

2020 - Standards (Thomas Fonnesbaek & Justin Kauflin.  CD, digital)

2019 - Christmas Candy (Justin Kauflin.  EP)

2018 - Coming Home (Justin Kauflin.  CD, digital)

2017 - Synesthesia (Thomas Fonnesbaek & Justin Kauflin.  CD, digital)

2017 - Oscar with Love (Multiple artists. Mack Avenue.  5-vinyl set)

2017 - Silent Night (CD) 2015 - Dedication (CD, digital)

2014 - Justin Kauflin: Live at EDYE (EP)

2010 - Introducing Justin Kauflin (CD, digital) 

Original Film Scores

2023 - Unforgettable Taste - Commercial score for Nespresso Ad Campaign

2023 - My Sister Liv - Full Length documentary score, Al Hicks Films

2022 - 12 Notes on Life and Creativity.  Trailer, Quincy Jones

2021 - Reflection - A Walk with Water. Documentary, Emmett Brennan

2016-2023 - There with Care. Promotional videos, Paula Dupre Pesman

2015 - Keep On Keepin’ On. Full-length documentary, Radius, Absolute Clay

Collaborations

2024 - Dreaming Freedom (xProplr)

2024 - Full Circle (Documentary - Mark Crawford)
2023 - Acceptance (Eddie Williams)
2023 - BeeDubya (Billy Williams)
2022 - Blue's Big City Adventure (Movie - Nickelodeon)

2022 - 12 Notes on Life & Creativity.  Audiobook, Quincy Jones
2023 - After|Life (Brian McCarthy)
2022 - Sunsong (Chris Brydge)
2022 - Bypass (Chris Brydge)
2021 - Healing Grace 
2020 - Crossing the Water (Chris Brydge)
2018 - Sharing (Thomas Fonnesbaek)
2018 - Americana Groove Project (Jae Sinnett)
2017 - Better Nature of Our Angels (Brian McCarthy)
2017 - Codex (Brian McCarthy)
2017 - Offbeat (Katie Thiroux) 

2017 - Music to Inspire

2016 - Safe in Sound (Songevity Rob Duguay)

2015 - Keep On Keepin' On Soundtrack (Varese Sarabande)

2014 - Subject to Change (Jae Sinnett)

2013 - When Trees Speak (Jimmy Masters)

2013 - This Just In (Brian McCarthy)

2013 - See Dream Blues (Songevity Rob Duguay)

2012 - Still Standing (Jae Sinnett)

2012 - CT and WP: A Perfect Match (WPU)

2011 - House and Sinnett (Jae Sinnett)

2010 - Roxy Coss 

2010 - Theatre (Jae Sinnett)

2007 - Equilibrium (Etan Haziza)

2006 - The Sinnett Hearings (Jae Sinnett)

Original Compositions

1. Candy (Justin Kauflin Trio Live at Sam First)
2. Lost (Coming Home, Synesthesia)
3. Skybound (Synesthesia)
4. Hope (Silent Night)
5. Chorale (Silent Night)
6. Anticipation (Silent Night)
7.  Somethin’ Somethin’ (Coming Home)
8. Somethin’ Somethin’ Revisited (Coming Home)
9. Present Day (Coming Home)
10. Country Fried (Coming Home, JK Trio Live at Sam First)
11. Transition (Coming Home)
12. Pendulum (Coming Home)
13. Coming Home (Coming Home, JK Trio Live at Sam First)
14. Thank You Lord (Dedication, JK Trio Live at Sam First)
15. Mother’s Song (Dedication)
16. Lasting Impression (Dedication)
17. Up and Up (Dedication, Justin Kauflin Live at EDYE)
18. Where are You (Dedication)
19. No Matter (Dedication)
20. Tempest (Dedication)
21. Epiphany (Dedication)
22. The Professor (Dedication)
23. For Clark (Dedication)
24. B Dub (Dedication)
25. Elusive (Dedication)

26. Exodus (Introducing Justin Kauflin, Justin Kauflin Trio Live at Sam First)

27. Three for Glasper (Introducing Justin Kauflin)

28. Lucid Thoughts (Introducing Justin Kauflin)
29. Dreams Change (Keep On Keepin’ On)
30. Becoming the Mentor (KOKO)
31. Darkest Hour (KOKO)
32. Childhood (KOKO)
33. JK Original Blues (KOKO)
34. Rainy Day (KOKO)
35. Reflection (KOKO)
36. Significantly Worse (KOKO)
37. Suspended (KOKO)
38. Turning Point (KOKO)
39. Traveling (KOKO)
40. Kandice (There with Care)
41. Community of Care (TWC)
42. Meaningful Connections (TWC)
43. Caring for Families (TWC)
44. Delivering Care during Covid (TWC)
45. Continuing the Care (TWC)
46. Care Makes a Difference (TWC)
47. Continuing the Care 2 (TWC)
48. Mom’s Song (Justin Kauflin Live at EDYE)
49-77 Score for "Reflection - A Walk with Water"
78.  Trailer Score for "12 Notes on Life and Creativity"
79-100.  Score for "My Sister Liv"
101.  Commercial Score for Nespresso "Unforgettable Taste"

Website Accessibility Statement

www.JustinKauflin.com is committed to providing a website that is accessible to the widest possible audience, regardless of circumstance and ability. We aim to adhere as closely as possible to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0, Level AA), published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). These guidelines explain how to make Web content more accessible for people with disabilities. Conformance with these guidelines will help make the web more user friendly to everyone. Whilst www.JustinKauflin.com strives to adhere to the guidelines and standards for accessibility, it is not always possible to do so in all areas of the website and we are currently working to achieve this. Be aware that due to the dynamic nature of the website, minor issues may occasionally occur as it is updated regularly. We are continually seeking out solutions that will bring all areas of the site up to the same level of overall web accessibility.

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