Justin holds a Master’s of Music in Jazz Composition from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor’s of Music in Jazz from acclaimed University of North Texas. A product of wonderful teachers, Justin has studied with several prominent students of the storied master pedagogue Don “Jake” Jacoby, himself a student of master pedagogue Ernest Williams, a famed cornet soloist with John Philip Sousa. New York’s Frank Greene, Chicago’s Carey Deadman, Dallas’ Jay Saunders and Mike Steinel: all pivotal mentors in Justin’s development as musician; all students of Don Jacoby. This presents in Justin a teaching style informed by a lineage of great musicians. Justin believes we should strive to make the gift we give when we play as beautiful as we can through the development of good technique, true to the fulfillment of each and every player’s own self-expression.
Justin guides his students to find their own voice, to find a fulfilling way of expressing themselves through study of fundamental techniques and collective learning of both familiar and unfamiliar melodies. It’s all about singing a song through the trumpet. He believes that deeply encountering the process of learning music and learning how to share it with others by playing for friends cultivates humility and kindness by default. One of the many ways in which a young person can learn to share this gift of music is to play what you love for for those you love; playing music should very well be a rallying call for community and requires little more than a person with a melody to share. Music is a joy!
An in-demand jazz trumpet player, Justin can frequently be heard at clubs and events around the city. He often plays lead in Jeff Lindberg’s monolithic Chicago Jazz Orchestra, and was the lead trumpeter in the East Hubbard Jazz Orchestra for it’s weekly residency at Andy’s Jazz Club for over two years. As well, he has played trumpet in numerous musical theater productions at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace and Chicago Shakespeare Theater among so many others. Justin has also been first trumpet player in Eugene, Oregon’s Emerald City Jazz Kings, as well as appearing in the Oregon Festival of American Music also in Eugene. Two of Justin’s proudest recorded contributions as first trumpet were on Jessika Smith’s award winning album, “Tricks of Light,” as well as Ian Torres’ debut album, “January.” By day, Justin is a kindergarten assistant teacher at Catherine Cook School in Old Town.
Justin showcases his work as a player, composer, and poet at www.soundoftheway.com