The Justin Varnes Quartet features a modern twist on classic jazz tunes and takes iconic jazz figures and brings their stories and music back to life in a setting that is both entertaining and educational. From performers such as John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, and Charlie Parker, to composers such as Billy Strayhorn, Cole Porter, and Johnny Mercer, the concerts mix rousing performances with music appreciation and history.
Drummer Justin Varnes developed his career in New York, touring with Icon Phoebe Snow, with whom he performed on the Roseanne Barr Show with Michael McDonald, Madison Square Garden, and National Public Radio’s “World Café.” Now residing in Atlanta, Justin is a top-call sideman for touring artists.
Nick Rosen, pianist and keyboardist currently residing in Atlanta, GA, Nick’s calling for music began very young when he began plucking out tunes at the piano. Over the years, he’s toured with Russell Gunn, Dionne Farris, Col. Bruce Hampton, Liz Brasher, and The Magpie Salute.
After receiving his degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, John Sandfort, saxophone, was an active presence on the Chicago music scene performing with many of Chicago’s great jazz musicians, including George Fludas, Jodie Christian, Jeff Parker, and many others.
Kevin Smith, bass, is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He was exposed to music at a young age growing up in some of Atlanta’s historical Black Baptist churches. Being exposed to the cultures hymnody, negro spirituals, country blues and gospel music would set the foundation for a successful music career.