Kauflin’s interest in music began when he started playing the violin at aged four. His interest moved to the piano, and by the age of six, he was playing professionally. The young virtuoso sadly lost his sight by the age of 11.
This didn’t stop him from pursuing his passion for music, though, and by the age of 15 he was performing jazz professionally, most notably with the Jae Sinnett Trio.
Kauflin attended the William Paterson University in New Jersey under presidential scholarship, and it was here that he was taken under the wing of the renowned trumpeter Clark Terry, who also taught Quincy Jones, and mentored Kauflin to manage his crippling stage fright, as Kauflin revealed in the Clark Terry documentary Keep On Keepin’ On. Kauflin was later signed by Jones, and in 2013 and 2014 was part of Jones' World Tours.
“I’ve yet to meet another talent like [Justin Kauflin] and I know I never will... He is simply that unique and I’m absolutely honoured to have him at Q’s Bar and Lounge," Quincy Jones says.
Dedication, Kauflin’s latest album, debuted at No. 6 on CMJ Jazz chart, No.10 on Billboard's Traditional Jazz Chart and hit No.1 on JazzWeek’s chart. It remained in the top ten spot for nine straight weeks.