Written by | Ray Cornelius
I had the pleasure of attending a private dinner and listening session recently for classically trained violinist—Lee England Jr. The event took place at Mali Hunter‘s legendary Tree Sound Studios and featured an intimate conversation with him about his career followed up by a live performance with his band.
Lee is one of the industry’s most sought after musicians and is known as the “Soul Violinist.” After a short career as a music teacher in Chicago, he found himself playing alongside music royalty on stages around the world. He’s even appeared on Diddy‘s “Making the Band.”
However, it was a performance during an All-Star Weekend Party for Michael Jordan that totally changed the trajectory of his career. The NBA legend was so impressed with Lee’s performance that he immediately signed him to his Jordan Brand as a non-athletic ambassador.
He would later catch the attention of another legend, Quincy Jones, who eventually hosted a private concert for him.
“We spoke for an hour. And with the help of one of my angels, we ended up hosting a showcase that he put his name on. He endorsed it and it sold out,” says Lee about Quincy Jones. “That was the most monumental show for me because it was the first time that I was actually able to show everyone what was going on in my mind. I’ve always done track shows or I might have a sparse arrangement or my band with me but I wanted to show people that I could put on a show. After that, Mr. Jones called me on the Fourth of July from Switzerland and the rest is history.”
Lee is currently working on an original album and is expanding his non-profit, “Love Notes Music Organization.” It provides basic level instruction for new musicians, music camps and clinics. It’s a cause that is very near and dear to his heart. “I really, really, really believe in the arts and education through the arts, giving back and being a positive light in the community.”
A number of Atlanta celebrities came out to meet Lee including actresses Jasmine Guy and Terri J. Vaughn, filmmaker Cas Siger-Beedles, interior designer Michel Boyd, R&B songstress Angie Stone, music executive and author Shanti Das and radio personality and hip hop icon Ed Lover.
See more photos below:
Lee England Jr.
Jasmine Guy with Ed Lover
Terri J. Vaughn with Interior Designer Michel Boyd
Jasmine Guy with Cas Siger-Beedles
Lee England Jr. playing his violin
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com