Thursday, February 09, 2017

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Justin Kauflin

Artist:Justin Kauflin
Song:For Clark

If you have seen the 2015 documentary Keep On Keepin' On about jazz trumpet legend Clark Terry and his protege pianist Justin Kauflin, you probably want to know what happened to Kauflin. You can read my review of the film on the blog. Kauflin was born Mar. 10, 1986 in Silver Spring, MD and he grew up on Virginia Beach, VA. He took piano lessons and became somewhat of a child prodigy. Kauflin lost his sight at age 11 due to retinopathy. It didn't stop him from playing and he switched to jazz piano as a teen. He met Terry at William Paterson University in New Jersey. Kauflin's other influences include pianists Harold Mabern and Mulgrew Miller. Kauflin self released the CD Introducing Justin Kauflin in 2010. Keep On Keepin' On is about Terry's mentorship of Kauflin. You may recall that at the end of the film, Terry brings Quincy Jones to his home to see Kauflin. And that's where the film ends. Jones took Kauflin on tour. The video below was Kauflin's international debut at the 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival. Jones got Kauflin a record deal with the French label Jazz Village. The CD Dedication was released in 2015. Kauflin wrote all the songs. Musicians are Christopher Smith on bass, Billy Williams on drums and Matt Stevens on guitar. Since then he has been touring. he is currently on a European tour. So it looks like he's doing fine. Sadly, Clark Terry died. He was very ill in the film. His legacy as a mentor begins with 12 year old Quincy Jones and ends with Justin Kauflin. RIP Clark but you live on through all your students. Here's Justin Kauflin performing For Clark at the 2013 Montreux Jazz Festival.

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