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Jazzman Jeff Justman
Acoustic Folk-Rock-Country-Blues-Jazz-Classical Roots Music (mixed with fun!)

About Jazzman Jeff
Music Samples/
More Music Samples
Touring Schedule
Cool Links

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   Jazzman Jeff Justman is an acoustic folk-rock-country-blues-jazz-classical roots music performer, singer-songwriter, and music enthusiast.  He combines his musical artistry with fun, energy, intelligence, and always a rhythmic beat that connects with audiences.

    His performances combine the best elements of singer-songwriters, performing original compositions and re-interpreting, re-arranging, and energizing others' songs from the folk, country, rock, and primitive blues genres all blended into his own style of acoustic folk-rock-country-blues-jazz-classical roots  music (mixed with fun!) 

"Jeff Justman is one of the most exuberant and high-spirited musicians I know," says Austin-based cosmic cowboy and recording artist Bob Livingston (founder of the Lost Gonzo Band, Director of Texas Music International, and long-time member of Jerry Jeff Walker's band).   "He may be classified as a folkie, but he can rock the house with a variety of rhythms and colors borrowed from his extensive musical wanderings.  Jeff sings in an authentic voice and is one of the most prolific writers around, so if you have a chance, be sure to see one of his shows.  It's refreshing to see a musician with so much passion for what he's infectious!"
        Jazzman Jeff Justman's music performances are filled with literary lyrics, moving melodies, expressive and well-phrased vocals, partnered with his ever-present driving acoustic rhythms on the 6 string guitar, lap steel guitar, or 5 string banjo voiced with ringing thumb & finger picked note and two-octave instrumentation combinations.
"Jeff...has a true commitment to his art and the history of music," says Sue Demel of the progressive folk group, Sons of the Never Wrong "He delights his audience with a deep sense of the understanding that comes when tradition and talent meet.  He tends to his community by making sure that all kinds of musical genres connect us as neighbors."
    In a musical cultural age of regression where renaissance is the exception rather than the norm, Jazzman Jeff Justman is not an easy artist to categorize and that is part of the joy and fun of his musical performances.
"Jeff Justman is a versatile and talented musician," says regional touring folk performer, Amy Beth (founder of the Woodstock Folk Festival and host of Amy & Friends/The Corner Room.)  "He plays many instruments with infectious energy and a sense of fun.  Jeff's original compositions have a folk, country, classic rock and roots flavor with rhythm always setting the tone.  A performance by Jeff guarantees the audience an upbeat and enjoyable time."
       As Jeff explains, "Folk musicians seem to think my music is country.  Country musicians call it rock.  Rock musicians call it bluegrass.  Bluegrassers call it jazz.  Jazz enthusiasts swear it is primitive acoustic blues and blues fans say it is the real deal folk music.  Realistically, I draw quite heavily on all of those musical heritage genres and intentionally combine and stir up the musical mix to blend it into a dynamic musical canvas of music multi-textures that make it alive with a beat."

    "Somewhere the nickname 'Jazzman' just stuck by the way." Jeff says. "But, in an abstract sense it is a form of pure jazz.  Plus it's a pretty cool alliteration of the J's in my name, and I use quite a lot of alliteration in my song writing besides the obvious musical play on words on my last name of Justman."

   The same music genre defying categories can be said of the essence of Jazzman Jeff Justman's array of departed musical influencing heroes, including:  John Stewart, Waylon Jennings,  Buddy Holly, Chet Atkins, John Lennon, George Harrison, Elvis "the Pelvis" Presley, J.S.. Bach, Charley Patton, Son House, Dave Guard, Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery, Amadeus Mozart, Bill Monroe, Earl Scruggs, Roy Orbison, Rick Nelson, Louis Armstrong, or Django Reinhart.  The same can be said of such living influencing musician heroes of Jeff's also which includes Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bob Livingston, Ravi Shankar, Scotty Moore, David Gray, Paul McCartney, and Lucinda Williams.

"Jeff Justman is a folk performer with a decidedly original style," says Kate Moretti, the Director and Co-founder of The Lake County Folk Festival.  "He is also a great friend to the folk community, lending his seemingly tireless energy to help with folk events in the Lake County area."
  Jazzman Jeff Justman is also very active in Lake County's music community where he stages and hosts a twice monthly Acoustic Music Jam and is a Board member of The Lake County Folk Club.
"Jeff is a leader in our music community, bringing together musicians from different genres.  He brings together people who share his passion of music." says award winning professional vocalist, recording artist, and Chicago Music Awards nominee for Pop Entertainer of the Year Joan Hammel.

  Jazzman Jeff Justman was born and raised in Chicagoland and has played guitar and sang since he was nine years old, and played 5-string banjo since he was ten years old.  When he was eleven years old he developed his own style of thumb and fingerpicking with his right hand and has continued to develop it into an unparalleled thumb and three finger picking style over the next decades.

     "I literally pulled my guitar teacher aside after class one day at the age of eleven and asked him why I had to learn all of the different strumming and picking styles he was trying to teach me when I already instinctively was playing a style of finger picking I felt comfortable with that I developed outside of the lessons he was giving me," Jeff explains. "He seemed a bit shocked at my comment to him, but was open-minded enough to hear me out, literally.  He then, with curious interest, asked me to demonstrate the style I described to him and I recall him staring at my fingers quizzically contemplating the sounds I was producing as an eleven year old.  I'll never forget the approving nod he gave me when he told me he thought I should just keep playing and developing the style of fingerpicking I had demonstrated for him and that from then on he wanted me to only develop that style of picking in our lessons.  What a fine teacher he was to let me develop my own natural instrumentation voicing rather than impose another's on me.  Needless to say, I've been developing that same fingerpicking style for over forty years now and have never stopped pushing the musical envelope with it."

    "Years later, I took this same naturally intuitive approach with my vocals and then with my song writing and blending of styles of others' music to develop my own style and voice," Jeff says. "It captures the creative essence of Austin music, the Delta, New Orleans, early rockabilly, and a whole lot of other vibrant music but yet it's still acoustically folk based.  Luckily, with music's infinite boundaries I am able to keep taking the music a little higher and then bring it back down to earth to the listener's ear and ability to feel all those musical energies."

  Jazzman Jeff Justman has performed solo and in collaborations on stage as far away from his home in northern Illinois as Austin, Texas and as near to his home as The Lake County Folk Festival "Music by the Lake" in Lake Zurich, Long Grove's Strawberry Festival, Waukegan's Dandelion Wine Festival, Woodstock's Harvest Festival, Round Lake's American Legion Hall, Trans-Art Café in Mundelein, Amy & Friends/The Corner Room in Woodstock, Woodstock's Stage Left Café, Park City's Greenleaf Grill, and Uncommon Ground in Chicago.

       Jazzman Jeff Justman has served as Bob Livingston's band mate guitarist while in Chicago and has played with many fine musicians when he stages and hosts the Acoustic Music Jam in Grayslake.  Additionally, Jeff is a Board member of The Lake County Folk Club and has co-organized The Lake County Folk Festival "Music by the Lake."

Music Samples/YouTube 
(Click on a link below)

Latin Lemonade
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform an acoustic version of his original jazz instrumental solo instrumental song, "Latin Lemonade."  (Music by Jeff Justman)

John, Paul and George Martin
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform his original classical jazz guitar solo instrumental song, "John, Paul, and George Martin"
(Music by Jeff Justman)

I'm Losing You
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform a jazzy guitar solo instrumental of John Lennon's "I'm Losing You"

While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform a jazzy guitar solo instrumental of George Harrison's/The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

The Long & Winding Road
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform a jazzy guitar solo instrumental of "The Long & Winding Road"

Scotch & Soda
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform a jazzy guitar solo instrumental of  The Kingston Trio's "Scotch & Soda"

A Day in the Life
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform a jazzy guitar solo instrumental arrangement of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life".
Plus at the end of the song is a jazzy instrumental coda of "I Want to Hold Your Hand".

Stand By Me
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform a jazzy guitar solo instrumental arrangement of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me".

Love is Blue
Hear "Jazzman" Jeff perform a jazzy guitar solo instrumental arrangement of Paul Mauriat's late 1960's
classical pop hit "Love is Blue," accompanied by a video of beautiful beaches and sunsets.

Buckin' Bronco
"Jazzman" Jeff performs his original song "Buckin Bronco" (guitar, vocals) accompanied by a
video tribute to his wide array of musical influences.  (Words and Music by Jeff Justman.)

More Music Samples

(Click on a link below to listen to streaming audio)

Ridiculous Love
Words and Music by Jeff Justman and Susan Harris-Riederman
(Vocal, Guitar-Jeff Justman)

Daisha's Dancing Dream
Words and Music by Jeff Justman
(Jeff Justman: Vocal, Guitar)

Blue Winter Night
Words and Music by Jeff Justman
(Jeff Justman: Vocal, Guitar)

The 21st Century Man (No Longer Gives a Damn)
Words and Music by Jeff Justman
(Jeff Justman: Vocal, Guitar)

One Light
Words and Music by Jeff Justman
(Jeff Justman: Vocal, Guitar)

Some venues Jazzman Jeff Justman has performed at:
  Jazzman Jeff Justman has performed his personable style of acoustic folk-rock-country-blues-jazz-classical music (mixed with fun!) at venues in Austin, Texas and the Chicagoland area.  Some of these include:
  • BD Riley's (Austin, TX)
  • The Green Muse (Austin, TX)
  • The Driskill Hotel's Crystal Room (Austin, TX)
  • Poodies (Austin)
  • The Lake County Folk Festival "Music by the Lake" (Lake Zurich)
  • Strawberry Festival (Long Grove)
  • Harvest Festival (Woodstock)
  • Trans-Art Café (Mundelein)
  • Uncommon Ground (Chicago)
  • Stage Left Café (Woodstock)
  • Amy Beth's Corner Room (Woodstock)
  • Borders (Deerfield)
  • The American Legion (Round Lake)
  • Dandelion Wine Festival (Waukegan)
  • The Greenleaf Grill (Park City)
  • Flatlanders (Lincolnshire)
  • Buck's Rock n' Roll Grill (Lake Zurich)
  • Island Tap (Libertyville)
  • In Your Dreams (Libertyville)
  • Shady Oaks Camp (Chicagoland south suburbs)
  • The Glass Palette (Milburn)
  • No Exit Café (Chicago)
  • Smile Chicago (Chicago)

  • ...and various private parties and other venues.


Jazzman Jeff Justman's Performing/Touring Schedule
  Jazzman Jeff's upcoming 2010-2011 performance dates will feature some exciting new musical directions and musical fun:
Jazzman Jeff Justman
Cell Phone: 847-989-9634

Music web sites recommended by Jazzman Jeff Justman:

Bob Livingston's Texas Music International

Joan Hammel

Sons of the Never Wrong

Kat Eggleston

Amy Beth

Butterfly Sky

Loose Change & Friends

Bill Tong

The Lake County Folk Club

The Northern Illinois Bluegrass Association

Gary Tuber's Chicago Folk Music Examiner Articles

Join Jazzman Jeff and other local musicians at the
The Acoustic Music Jam
held each month usually on the 2nd and 4th Friday evenings in Grayslake, IL
(click on above link for more information)

Last updated January 29, 2010
Web site designed and maintained by
Bill Tong
Midnight Owl Productions