About Music Instructor Justin Janer
At age 11, Justin begged his mother for a saxophone. Soon after taking private lessons with Keith Felch he earned first chair in the South Gate middle school band. Walking home from school each day, Justin would pass by a local music store. One day he noticed that they had a music note reading contest written on a large white board. If someone could name the song on the board, they would win a prize! Justin won this contest many times and was proud to wear T-shirts and baseball caps with guitar string company logos on them that served as the award. Soon after this success he went on to join the South Gate Youth Band and also began playing in music venues with a local rock band on the weekends
Justin went on to attend Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) where he studied with Bobby Rodriguez, Jason Goldman, Rob Lockart, and Katisse Buckingham. He studied and performed with notable peers such as Gerald Clayton and was exposed to many different styles of music and was also introduced to a broad spectrum of arts education. After high school Justin went on to pursue his Bachelor's Degree in Music at California State University, Northridge where he advanced to lead alto in the "A" Big Band under the direction of Matt Harris and Gary Pratt. With this band he was given the opportunity to perform in Germany, France, and Austria on multiple occasions. He also recorded with Time Ries, saxophonist of The Rolling Stones. During his time at CSUN Justin was also a member of the Latin Band under the direction of master percussionist Jerry Steinholtz
Justin then went on to earn his Master's Degree from Manhattan School of Music in New York City in where he studied with David Liebman, Steve Wilson, Vincent Herring, Bobby Sanabria, Lee Konitz and others notable music educators. During this time he recorded Latin Grammy Nominated Album "Kenya Revisited Live" featuring Candido Camero. He also earned the Hispanic Scholarship Fund McNamara Creative Arts Grant, which helped fund Justin's debut album "Following Signs" available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music and other distributors. After completing graduate school, Justin returned to Los Angeles and has been performing and teaching music in Southern California ever since. When not spending his free time surfing, fishing, cooking, or practicing music, Justin maintains an active performance schedule playing tenor saxophone and flute in Louie Cruz Beltran's Latin Jazz Ensemble and also performs frequently with local musical artists throughout the greater Los Angeles area
Justin has performed and recorded with venerable musicians and musical groups such as Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Hubert Laws, Poncho Sanchez, Pete Escovedo, Roy Hargrove, Ambrose Akinmusire, St. Lucia, Ariel Pink, Lushlife, Veneer, Laureline, and others. Justin has also performed at the Hollywood Bowl, Lincoln Center, Waldorf Astoria and many major Jazz Festivals such as The Playboy Jazz Festival, Oakland Jazz Festival, Brea Jazz Festival, Chino Hills Jazz and Blues Festival, and others. His critically acclaimed debut album "Following Signs" is available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc and features Fabian Almazan and Ambrose Akinmusire
Justin's greatest passion is instilling a love for music in others! After spending seven years working for world-renown early childhood music educator Lynn Kleiner of Music Rhapsody, he began teaching independently and exclusively as a private instructor. This format allows each student to reach their fullest potential while gaining a wealth of knowledge on a individual basis
Justin recently moved to Northern California to work as the classroom general music teacher,
choir director, and band director at Pinewood School in Los Altos. He is now proud to offer private music
lessons to students in Silicon Valley cities such as Los Altos, Santa Clara, Palo Alto, Sunnyvale,
Cupertino, Menlo Park, Mountain View, and surrounding cities.
Justin is also the Praise Team Leader at Hosanna Community Church in San Ramon .
Schools and programs Justin has worked with include
Mira Costa High School
Manhattan Beach Middle School
Da Vinci Innovation Academy
Journey of Faith School
LA Phil Summer Sounds
Montessori Greenhouse Schools
St Joseph's Early Learning Center
Approved Vendor for the Excel Academy Charter School
Awards Justin has Received
HSF McNamara Creative Arts Project Grant
Downbeat Magazine Outstanding College Soloist Award
Finalist NASA Jazz Saxophone Competition
CSUN MSM Music Scholarships
"pure expression...a display of special talents"
- Warren Allen, Jazziz Magazine
"profoundly lyrical and expressive"
- Dan Bilawsky, Allaboutjazz.com
Justin plays and teaches many instruments including alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute,
clarinet, piano, guitar, ukulele, electric bass, harmonica, drums, voice, and more!