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Justin Kauflin: A Pianist And His Mentor

Aaron Hushagen
Pianist, Justin Kauflin, in the KPLU Seattle studios.

Justin Kauflin is a 23-year-old jazz pianist who is also one of the subjects of a new documentary film called Keep On Keepin’ On.

The other subject of the film is Justin’s musical and spiritual mentor, jazz trumpet legend, Clark Terry. Kauflin has been a musician since childhood. He’s also been blind since age 11. The film deals with Justin’s apprenticeship and friendship with the 93-year-old Terry.

Justin accompanied the film to Seattle for a showing at the Seattle International Film Festival. He was kind enough to take the time to visit our Seattle performance studio for a solo piano session hosted by KPLU’s Abe Beeson.

You can also find our Studio Sessions available as a video podcast in iTunes.

Abe grew up in Western Washington, a third generation Seattle/Tacoma kid. It was as a student at Pacific Lutheran University that Abe landed his first job at KNKX, editing and producing audio for news stories. It was a Christmas Day shift no one else wanted that gave Abe his first on-air experience which led to overnights, then Saturday afternoons, and started hosting Evening Jazz in 1998.