Justin Nielsen is a performer, composer, recording artist, and teacher residing in Eagle, Idaho. His dynamic career has made it possible for him to play and teach with some of the greatest musicians in the world. He is featured on scores of recordings and is a charter member of the Kobie Watkins Grouptet, who he performs and tours with frequently. The group's last recording was named as one of the top 10 jazz records of 2018 by the Chicago Tribune. His arrangements and compositions have been performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and many other distinguished music halls in the U.S. and abroad.
Though Justin loves performing, his greatest passion comes from teaching and inspiring people to play and to love music. He was a founder of ArtsWest/Fresco Arts Academy, a private school for young performing artists in Eagle, Idaho, where he worked and taught for 7 years. His students have literally won hundreds of national honors, including recognition from Downbeat magazine, the national Grammy organization, and the Monterey Next Generation competition. His students have also garnered over $5 Million in scholarship offers to the finest music schools in the country including CalArts, Manhattan School of Music, Berklee College of Music, USC, and others. Many of his former students are now professional musicians.
Justin is founder/owner of Sing Music Academy, the culmination of his last 20 years of mentoring creative musicians. The project is an online music program that focuses on mentoring musicians by giving them an immersive music industry experience. Justin has also released two albums as a leader, Divine Colors and Prayer for Peace.
Co-founder and Executive Director
A practicing physician and resident of Eagle for 20 years, he is the impetus behind the Festival and is responsible for operating the non-profit enterprise.
"Live music has a unique effect in our society: people of diverse backgrounds are brought together to enjoy a common passion. I believe the community jazz festival concept has tremendous potential to cure what ails us in our nation today."
Co-founder and Technical Director
Owner of Stevens Signature Homes, specializing in custom design and construction nationwide, he also designs computer software systems and has extensive IT experience. He manages the technical aspects of the festival.
"There is a strong jazz community here in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, with many talented musicians ripe for presentation on the Eagle Jazz Festival stage."
A 20-year resident of Eagle and clinical pharmacist, her efforts at planning, fundraising, and staff coordination are indispensable to the organization. She manages the financial aspects of the festival.
A graphic designer and illustrator who is well known for her live painting and murals in Eagle, she also runs an international ministry called GodLovesArt.com. She manages the artistic aspects of the festival.