Monday 20th February 2017
- Tuesday 21st February 2017
£25.00 - £42.50
The legendary Quincy Jones and Ronnie Scott's presents a unique and unmissable evening from one of the world's greatest young stars. The award-winning jazz pianist and recent subject of the much-acclaimed documentary film Keep On Keeping On, Justin Kauflin graces the stage with his trio.
Opposite is Singer/vocalist Sarah McKenzie has performed to capacity crowds of 4,500 at the Jazzopen Festival in Stuttgart and 2,800 at the Jazz à Juan festival in Antibes. Full biography below
Pianist JUSTIN KAUFLIN's musical life began with classical studies on violin and piano. From age six, he performed concerts, eventually becoming concertmaster for several orchestras. Along the way, Justin also started to lose his vision, until he was totally sightless. Not to be deterred, he developed a love for jazz, eventually receiving a scholarship to study at William Paterson University, where he came under the guidance of Harold Mabern and Clark Terry.
Kauflin’s style embodies - without being derivative - the ‘’quiet fire’’ lyricism of Bill Evans (whom Kauflin credits as his ‘’biggest influence at age 14’’), the nimble and mercurial qualities of Bud Powell, the genial melodiousness of Herbie Hancock and a bit of Dave Brubeck’s gregarious percussiveness.
Singer/vocalist Sarah McKenzie has performed to capacity crowds of 4,500 at the Jazzopen Festival in Stuttgart and 2,800 at the Jazz à Juan festival in Antibes.
Her European debut album (“We Could Be Lovers”) was released recently. Two and a half years ago, singer/pianist Sarah McKenzie took part in the Umbria Jazz Festival competition: she was awarded a rare full Scholarship to attend the iconic Berklee College of Music. 18 months later she graduated with a Diploma in Jazz Performance and was immediately snapped up by Jean-Philippe Allard, managing director of the impulse! label.
Brian Bacchus (Norah Jones, Gregory Porter) produced the album, recorded at the legendary Sear Sound studios in New York. The record features several McKenzie originals, alongside classic tunes from Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Henry Mancini, Duke Ellington and Jerome Kern. For the recording McKenzie assembled an impressive lineup of musicians that include trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, guitarist Hugh Stuckey, bassist Alex Boneham, drummer Marco Valeri; and saxophonists Troy Roberts and Yosvany Terry. Her impulse! debut ‘We Could Be Lovers’ will be released in Europe on September 18, 2015.
Sarah McKenzie originally hails from Melbourne, Australia; she earned a bachelor’s degree in jazz at Perth’s West Australian Academy of Performing Arts and recorded two critically acclaimed albums for the Australian label ABC records – ‘Don’t Tempt Me’ (2010) and ‘Close Your Eyes’ (2012), winner of Best Jazz Album ARIA award. The Australian version of ‘We Could Be Lovers’ has also been awarded with the prestigious Bell Award as Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album 2015. Sarah McKenzie has performed at jazz´s iconic places, the festivals in Monterey, Juan-les-Pins, Marciac and Perugia, Dizzy´s and Minton´s in New York, as well as the top clubs in Paris, London, Vienna, Munich and Sydney. Together with the Boston Pops Orchestra she premiered one of her compositions at Boston´s Symphony Hall.
Born in Silver Spring, MD, Justin Kauflin began music at age 4 with Suzuki violin, adding piano a few years later. By age 6, he was performing professionally.
However, he also endured numerous trials, particularly losing total vision from exudative retinopathy by age 11. He adjusted by learning 4 types of Braille, cane mobility and, after a decade of classical violin and piano, switched to jazz piano in high school at the Governor's School for Performing Arts studying with Liz Barnes and Old Dominion University's 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. He began performing jazz professionally at age 15, most notably with the Jae Sinnett Trio.
In 2004, Justin graduated at the top of his class alongside his sighted peers at Salem High and the Governor's School, receiving a Presidential scholarship to attend William Paterson University in New Jersey. At WPU, he was taken under the wings of legendary trumpeter, Clark Terry and was a member in the Clark Terry Ensemble. He also had the tremendous privilege of learning from his hero, the late Mulgrew Miller, as well as Harold Mabern and the late James Williams. While attending William Paterson, he accepted any opportunity to sit in, and/or perform with his trio in New York City. He graduated summa cum laude in 2008, moved to NYC and, at age 23 produced, led, composed and performed on his first CD, Introducing Justin Kauflin. His personnel included high school buddy Billy Williams, Phil Kuehn, Etan Haziza and Tim Green.
In NYC, he was hit with the realization that "visionless independent mobility" is painstakingly slow at best and life-threatening at worst. This led him to The Seeing Eye in Morristown, NJ where he trained 24/7 for a month with an amazing black lab named Candy.
In 2011, Justin relocated to Virginia Beach where the Justin Kauflin Trio headlined regularly at Havana Nights Jazz Club, and where he also served as House Pianist. He performed around the country with his own trio or with the Jae Sinnett Trio; won the VSA International Young Soloist Award; was voted "Jazz Artist of the Year" in VEER Magazine; and selected as semifinalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition.
Simultaneously during this time, Justin's relationship with mentor Clark Terry was being chronicled by friend and fellow musician, Al Hicks. Five years in the making, the resultant documentary, Keep On Keepin' On, won numerous awards and made the Oscar's Short List. Justin is also credited for its filmscore along with veteran Dave Grusin.
Subsequently, Justin was signed by legendary producer and music icon, Quincy Jones for management, and in 2013 and 2014, was part of Quincy Jones' World Tours.
In addition to promoting Keep On Keepin' On across the country, Justin worked with Quincy Jones on his second full-length CD and debut album for Jazz Village. DEDICATION was released January 2015 and debuted at #6 on CMJ Jazz chart, #10 on Billboard's Traditional Jazz Chart, hit #1 on JazzWeek's chart and remained in the top 10 spot for 9 straight weeks. The Justin Kauflin Trio followed up with two European Tours and a USA tour sandwiched in between.
Currently, Justin resides in Brooklyn, NY and is working on several independent projects including music for his next CD. In between projects, he has been touring Europe with JK trio or solo performances, and plans to head into the studio for his own recording soon.
"Justin Kauflin favors a clarity of touch and ideas. His writing is balanced, tempering post-bop intricacies with the assurances of the gospel church" - The New York Times
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