Primary Instrument: Guitar
Having a businessman as a father and an artist as a mother, Justin traveled and was exposed to many different cultures from a very early age. His began his musical career when he was eight; his mother dragged him to classical guitar lessons in Tokyo.
After leaving Japan, he moved to Connecticut, the Cayman Islands, Burlington, Vermont and Oslo, Norway, before making New York City his home. It was the hustle and bustle of the urban environment that triggered him to communicate through composition, all that he heard, smelled, touched and saw.
Justin’s formal musical education was at the University of Vermont. There, he founded, directed and managed Roku, a seven piece a jazz-rock, ensemble that recently released a CD nationwide. In addition, he was deeply active in the freelance music scene, playing gigs in background jazz, opera accompaniment along with high school and college musicals.
Justin’s solo album “All that is Solid Melts into Air,” showcases his performance and compositional ability. Accompanied by an intimate and dazzling quintet, the music speaks louder then what can be stated here.
Studying at New York University and Berklee College of Music, has given Justin the pleasure to study with Peter Bernstein, Lage Lund, Ben Monder, as well as many others. While at UVM he studied with Joe Davidian, Joe Capps, Alexander Stewart, Tom Cleary, Wayne Schnedier, and Patricia Julien.
...Listening to the Justin Monsen Quintet, it is clear that whatever elements go together to form his unique sound, he has mastered the art of not just making us listen, but making us love what we hear” --Barry Alexander, Barry Alexander & Associates