Justin was a graduate of the inaugural class in Popular Music Performance at USC, under the direction of Chris Sampson. There, he studied performance, marketing, and arranging in contemporary situations from mentors and teachers such as Patrice rushen, Sean Holt and Richard Smith. Justin also studied saxophone and Jazz technique primarily with recording artist, George Shelby and saxophonist/composer, Jason Goldman.
Justin began playing piano at age 7, but didn’t find his true love for music until he picked the sax in middle school and began listening to groups like Earth Wind and Fire, and Chicago. Its been a journey since then as he continued to pursue music by attending the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA/ Arts High). There he began his studies in jazz under the direction and teachings of saxophonist/composer Jason Goldman. Justin participated and played in the school’s award winning big band and played with combos as well. The school’s groups have played at the Playboy Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Duke Ellington Jazz Festival in NY.
While in between middle school and high school, Justin met renown jazz pianist, David Benoit through the Asia America Youth Orchestra. Benoit helped and mentored Justin by giving him and a couple other students the chance to play alongside him at his own jazz performances as well as hooking him up with his own saxophonist, Andy Suzuki for further studies in improvisation. At around the same time, Justin also began to learn from saxophonist, Frank Fontaine. Through Benoit’s orchestra and personal shows Justin has been allowed to take the stage with greats such as David Pack (of Ambrosia), Michael Paulo, Keiko Matsui, Rick Braun, Dave Koz and others.
During his high school years, Justin auditioned and was accepted into the GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY Camp. After attending 3 years, he’s been able to play with amazing artists such as Earth Wind and Fire, Rickey Minor, Ozomatli, Christian Scott, Dave Koz and many others. He still maintains contact with the foundation as they have filmed the 2009 year of GRAMMY Camp in a documentary entitled “Happy On The Ground: 8 Days at GRAMMY Camp” and continue to support all of their GRAMMY In The Schools Alumni.
- Performed at Kollaboration Los Angeles in 2013