Born in Johannesburg, South Africa and based in Durham, NC, musical wonder-kid Justin Lee Schultz is the good news you did not even know you needed. He is joy personified. The multi-instrumental wizard who has dazzled audiences on TV shows Harry, Little Big Shots and American’s Most Musical Family, is a prodigy in the fashion of his idols Stevie Wonder and Herbie Hancock. His talent is exceptional not merely because he is young but also due to his melodic, harmonic and technical maturation. While his peers are learning the latest Tik Tok dances and amassing kills on Fortnite, Justin prefers studio time and woodshedding for hours. While social distancing has most people jamming at home with their families, Justin has literally been jamming with his musician father and bassist Julius and 16-year-old sister and drummer Jamie-Leigh. “Music brings me joy because I can express myself when I play. I can also get creative when I’m improvising,” shares the amiable, cherub faced and charismatic 13-year old who has aspirations to one day share the stage with Wonder and Herbie Hancock, as well as Bruno Mars, Charlie Puth, Jacob Collier, Cory Henry and Robert Glasper. Justin, who plays piano, guitar, bass guitar and talkbox, devotes five to seven hours each day to his musical craft. His anticipated Shanachie Entertainment debut, Gruv Kid, will be released November 13th.
Justin Lee Schultz’s anticipated label debut will unite him with some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz including Bob James, Harvey Mason, Najee, Gerald Albright, Jonathan Butler and Pieces of A Dream, among others. Justin also welcomes his friend and fellow prodigy, youthful Brazilian bassist Michael Pipoquinha on a track, and his sister, drummer Jamie is featured on four tracks. While Justin and his father share the producer hat for much of the recording, they did enlist help from such heavyweights as Jeff Lorber, Paul Brown and Kim Waters, who lend their Midas touch and perfectly showcase Justin’s dazzling talents.
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Over SA,” a standout track that finds Justin collaborating with the legendary South African R&B and jazz fusion artist Jonathan Butler, who gracefully handles lead vocals and lead guitar on the track. Written by Justin’s dad, the song is a soothing trip into nostalgia as the lyrics recount the special sunny feeling of being in South Africa. Butler’s vocals offer a subtle counterpart to Justin’s jazz-inflected keyboard playing, which fittingly takes the spotlight. The young musician straddles the line between mellow jazz fusion and worldly R&B with his playing, creating a vibrant yet mellow mood that will bring a smile to your face. Backed by a superb rhythm section that includes his father on bass and rhythm guitar and his sister on drums, Justin proves to be an old musical soul proficient in the art of crafting rich sonic soundscapes.