“I want to do this, performing music, for the rest of my life.” It was a decision Justin Klunk, StarCentral Magazine’s Musician of the Month for October 2012 made at a life-changing performance alongside renowned smooth jazz pianist, David Benoit at the Armstrong Theatre in Torrance, California. Through the Asia America Youth Orchestra, Justin was chosen along with two others to perform with Benoit and his band. “It was one of the most nerve-racking, yet amazing performances of my life. I will never forget feeling the energy from the entire group and how amazing everyone played…right as we were taking our bows, I just knew that I had to do this forever, no matter what.”
From then on, the 21 year old saxophonist has enjoyed success after success. He credits another formative experience, his 2-week stay at the GRAMMY Foundation’s GRAMMY Camp, as a “pivotal” step in getting him to where he is today. “They took me in when I didn’t feel I was as good as the others at the time, and helped me get better and build confidence in myself…” Through the camp, he was able to learn from his “saxophone hero,” Dave Koz, as well as perform with megastars and The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, “Earth, Wind and Fire.”
Justin has certainly taken the lessons he learned at GRAMMY Camp to heart. He has taken them one step further and is in the last year of his studies at the University of Southern California, where he is enrolled in the inaugural course of Popular Music Performance. He juggles school life with life on stage where, either as a solo artist or with his band, “The Beat Advocate,” he is certainly making his mark. He is co-music director for pop singer, Annie Dingwall. He is also a member for numerous other bands such as for soul artist, Rozzi Crane; pop singer, Barry Harris and the Euphoria; soul singer, Jordan Pharoah and for R&B artist, Lara Johnston. “Music is really one of the greatest outlets of expression, and it’s what keeps me sane and happy at the end of the day…” He enjoys “the interaction between the audience and the performer as well as the energy shared by your fellow musicians… You get to see how music can invoke a variety of emotions with listeners…”
This multi-talented musician also knows that he wouldn’t be where he is now without the 100% support of his family. “My parents have always been pushing me to do what makes me happy since the get-go. They bought me my first saxophones, drove me around to lessons, let me apply to music high schools, and never had once asked for anything in return…I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I’m at…if it wasn’t for them and my sister.” With that support, and his own talent and drive behind him, Justin Klunk is one artist to definitely watch out for.
Justin’s YouTube Channel: www.facebook.com/justinklunkmusic