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avatar for Justin Kennedy

Justin Kennedy

Arizona State University
Doctoral Student and Teaching Assistant
Tempe, AZ
Justin Leo Kennedy is a composer, overtone singer, and laptop performer. He is attracted to music dealing with visceral rhythms, emotionally intense material, and timbres that are either gutturally raw or uniquely delicate. His style is a compilation of influences: experimentalism, Mongolian folk music, expressionism, punk rock, romanticism, and music for interactive media. Justin frequently engages social issues in his compositions.

In 2013, Justin was an artist in residence, as a member of the Cole Laptop Ensemble, at La MaMa Umbria International for Italy’s Spoleto Festival. Justin’s work has been heard at Disneyland, Phoenix Art Museum, Mesa Arts Center, Art Share L.A. (as part of the Iridian Arts Series), and at Naru Arts Center in Seoul, Korea for a production by Byungkoo Ahn.

In Long Beach, Justin served as the Cole Composers’ Guild President where he wrote contracts for events with Kronos String Quartet and Elixir Piano Trio in addition to writing a grant for the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet. Currently, he is Assistant Director of the Laptop Orchestra of Arizona State (lorkas.org), helping the group get spotlighted in Phoenix Magazine, broadcast on Canadian radio station CKCU 93.1, and secure performances at both the A2RU National Conference and Southwest Electronic Music Events Festival.

Justin earned composition degrees from the Chicago College of Performing Arts (B.M. with a minor in music theory) and the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music (M.M.). While earning those degrees, he received additional training as a pianist, rock drummer, and orchestral percussionist. Presently, he is a D.M.A. student and teaching assistant at Arizona State University. Justin’s piece strong.mn will premiere this summer in Ventura, California. The performance is for overtone singer using interactive media, dancer (Wenwen Dong), and live digital illustrator (Amelia Boon).