Justin Binek is the Head of Vocal Jazz Studies at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where he directs several vocal ensembles; teaches Jazz Improvisation, Advanced Piano and Accompanying, and Applied Voice; and serves as a voice department concert coordinator, accompanist and vocal coach. Under his direction, the UArts Jazz Singers performed at the 2008 International Society for Music Education (ISME) World Conference in Bologna, Italy; Justin’s ensembles have also given feature performances at the Berks Jazz Festival, Ohio Jazz Summit, and the Delaware Music Educators Association, New Jersey Music Educators Association, and Pennsylvania ACDA Conferences. Justin has also helped UArts develop relationships with the Liverpool Institute of Music and the Projazz Escuela Internacional de Musica in Santiago, Chile.
Justin maintains an active jazz and classical performing schedule as a singer, pianist, and clinician/adjudicator. He is a prolific arranger and composer whose works are published by Sound Music Publications. A contributing author to Diana Spradling's groundbreaking book, Jazz Singing: Developing Artistry and Authenticity, Justin presented "The Ten Habits of Highly Effective Scat Singers" at the 2008 International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) annual conference in Toronto, Ontario, the 2008 ISME World Conference, and the 2013 Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference. He is a member of the boards of directors for both the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association (Vocal Jazz Repertoire & Standards Chair) and the New Jersey Association for Jazz Educatin (Vocal Jazz Liaison).
Justin has been the director of the New Jersey Honors Jazz Choir since Fall 2007, and he has directed numerous other state- and region-level jazz and classical honor choirs. He also serves on the faculty of the Halewynstichting Jazz Workshop in Dworp, Belgium, and the Pro Music Summer Camp in Tiffin, Ohio. Justin currently sings with the First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir and the Philadelphia Big Band, and performs as a freelance musician throughout the Philadelphia area. His quartet, featuring pianist Ewout Pierreux, bassist Jos Machtel, and drummer Toni Vitacolonna, released the new album “Songbook” in through CD Baby in January 2013.
Prior to joining the UArts faculty, Justin was the Director of Choral and Jazz Ensembles at the University of Mary in Bismarck, ND. Under his direction, the university's Concert Choir was prominently featured in the Public Television documentary "A Soulful Sound: The Music of the Germans from Russia." A North Dakota native, Justin received a BS: Music Education and a BA; Music Performancee from the University of Mary (2000). He then earned an MM: Voice Performance from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI (2002), where he was the Assistant Director of the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble "Gold Company" and received two DownBeat Student Music Awards.
Justin and his wife, Claire, a professional classical singer and an adjunct member of the UArts voice department faculty, live in Philadelphia.