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.
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“Justin Monsen’s music has depth and character rarely heard from someone of his generation. His contemporary style is reminiscent of the global jazz scene sweeping the continent. Formally trained in America, his music and compositions reflect the ‘free’ aspects of the genre, and his cathartic improvisations will be warmly received by European and American audiences alike.” --Chris DeSantis Author, “Clocks of New York: An Illustrated History”
...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