Born: March 10, 1986
Award-winning jazz pianist, Justin Kauflin began his musical journey at age 4 with Suzuki violin (Suzanne Schreck), adding piano a few years later with Virginia Koun. By age 6, he was performing in concerts, nursing homes and weddings, eventually becoming concertmaster for several orchestras. However, it was during this time that he also endured numerous trials, particularly losing total vision by a rare eye disease. He adjusted by learning 5 grades of Braille, cane mobility and, after a decade of classical violin and piano, switched to jazz piano at the Governor's School for Performing Arts. He studied with Liz Barnes, Woody Beckner, Chris Brydge, Jeff Smith, Jae Sinnett and ODU jazz professor, John Toomey; he attended the Vail Jazz Workshop, Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Residency, and received top honors in jazz festivals across the U.S...
- Introducing Justin Kauflin by Dan Bilawsky
Take Five With...More articles about Justin Kauflin
...Demsey calls Kauflin an “extraordinary musician,” who has an exact touch and a singular style. “He’s very gifted technically,” says Demsey, a saxophonist who plays with the Metropolitan Opera in New York. “On top of his gift, he has this work ethic to make the most of that gift. If he hears something once, a piece of music, it’s somehow impressed on his mind. He has extraordinary ability of aural recall.”
The challenge at William Paterson, he says, was to not get in Kauflin’s way — to let his musical character naturally progress....
Our brilliant jazz club, Havana Nights houses one of the best jazz pianists in our region; Justin Kauflin...