Primary Instrument: Drums
Justin Chesarek is all about swing.
It's what drives him, it's what makes him strike drum heads with well-composed intensity, and it’s why some of the best jazz musicians in Atlanta keep him on call.
Since arriving in Atlanta in August, 2008, Justin, a transplant from rural Pennsylvania, has made quite a name for himself.
He isn't your average session drummer. While regularly playing gigs with Kemba Cofield, Joe Gransden, and Gary Motley, Justin also flexes his composing muscles while traversing the east coast with his group The Central Focus Trio and maintaining a regular Wednesday night gig at Churchill Grounds, Atlanta's premier jazz club, with the Justin Chesarek Quintet.
Pulling diverse influences from jazz, classical, rock, world music, Justin writes and plays music with emotion, putting his artistry and talent in every note and beat he comes across. The end product is jazz--the virtuosity of Bebop, the soul and funkiness of the early days of Fusion, and a retro-modern mindset oozing with musicality and a beat that gets the inner ear thumpin'.
[Composing as a drummer] allows me to supply more of a concept of drums in melody. It gives me the opportunity to inject different rhythms and colors, Justin said.
Consorting with members of jazz royalty including Wynton Marsalis, John Faddis, Gary Smulyan, and Dave Samuels, just to name a few, Justin is regularly asked to sit in with some of the biggest names around.
A graduate of Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pa., Justin holds a Bachelors of Music in Education. Under the direction of Dr. Stephen Hawk and Dr. David Glover, Justin did a two-week European tour, making appearances at Montreaux Jazz Festival and North Sea Jazz Festival.
Justin is a May, 2010 graduate of Georgia State University (Masters of Music, Jazz Studies) and teaches adjunct at Emory University.