Born: February 6, 1970
Captivating. Intriguing. Evocative. Just a few of the words that describe the experience of listening to Justin Chart's jazz albums. Chart gracefully and without inhibition bares his soul in his music, inviting us to join him in experiencing a depth of emotions. Sometimes the journey is slow and sultry, other times it's jaunty and irrepressible. What intrigues me is that each track is 100% improvised in the moment. Improvisation is obviously at the heart of jazz, yet jazz musicians typically start with a melody which they already know.
Chart takes improv to a new level. He selects a key and a tempo. Then it's instant creation by Chart and his band. What's even more amazing is that the synergy between Chart and his band makes the transitions between soloists seamless, creating music that sounds like it was coordinated in advance. That's what so intrigues me about his music. What does it take to be able to let yourself be so in the moment that you can compose on the spot while coordinating with such ease with the other members of the band? Obviously, it's much more than technical skill - which Chart and his band all express effortlessly. Justin Chart is an artist of intense vision.
His Saxophone playing is virtuosic, cross-cultural, and passionate. Kudos to Chart and his band for their willingness to be completely in the moment, allowing their energies to combine with the energies of their listeners, to create music which taps into and expresses those energies to create such a sublime listening experience.
It is the goal of every jazz artist to develop their own sound, their unique musical identity. Listening to Alto-saxophonist Justin Chart’s music, it is obvious from the start that he has achieved that goal. His atmospheric saxophone playing makes one think of dark rainy Los Angeles nights in a film noir.
While the original songs on his records sound arranged in advance, the truth is a bit more complicated. Justin Chart and his band spontaneously created all of the music either live, or in the studio. The performances, all of which are first takes, do not contain any editing or overdubbing, just very intuitive playing, and yet the themes, chord changes, and tight interaction would make one think that the music was part of the musicians’ repertoire. The music is consistently intriguing and Intuitively inventive while having an air of mystery.
Awards and Recognition Chart has received the following awards and recognition: Certificate of Recognition of Service to the City of Los Angeles in June of 2014 from Council President Herb Wesson Jr. Proclamation and Angel Award from the City of Los Angeles in June of 2014 from Councilman Tom La Bonge Artisan Appreciate Award in July of 2014 from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Proclamation of Service to The Latin Community of Los Angeles in February of 2015 from Councilman Jose Huizar Award of Commitment and Inspiration to the City of Los Angeles in March of 2015 from First Council Member Gil Cedillo Statement of Accomplishment in February of 2016 from United States Senator Dianne Feinstein In May of 2017, the Los Angeles city council adopted Chart's composition of "Los Angeles The Song" as an official part of Los Angeles' history. Humanitarian and Charitable Causes Chart is involved in numerous charitable causes. He has performed numerous fund-raisers to raise consciousness about the loss of funding for the arts in public schools. Chart in a partnership with Cal Fund raised over $50,000 for the California wildfires. Chart has served as Musical Ambassador for Wildlife Warriors Worldwide and the Australia Zoo Foundation.
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