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A Chat with Pianist Justin Kauflin

Mentored by Clark Terry, a rising star finds his own voice

Justin Kauflin
Justin Kauflin Trio, Barcelona, October 2015: Kauflin on piano, Chris Smith on bass, Billy Williams on drums
Justin Kauflin Trio, Barcelona, October 2015: Kauflin on piano, Chris Smith on bass, Billy Williams on drums
Justin Kauflin Trio, Barcelona, October 2015: Kauflin on piano, Chris Smith on bass, Billy Williams on drums. David Pastor guests on trumpet

Justin Kauflin is rapidly making a name for himself as one of the most promising young musicians on today’s jazz scene. The talented pianist first gained major exposure through Keep on Keepin’ On, a documentary that told of Kauflin’s honest and pure relationship with his greatest mentor, the late trumpeter Clark Terry.

Last month, Kauflin completed his second 2015 European tour, during which he presented his latest album, Dedication (Jazz Village, 2014), produced by Quincy Jones. The Justin Kauflin Trio, with Chris Smith on bass and Billy Williams on drums, captivated the audience with the perceptible spiritual energy that lights Kauflin’s compositions and the band’s ability of to explore contemporary language and intense rhythm.

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