This week, young musicians at Aldine ISD came face-to-face with what a career as a successful musician might look like. Lee England Jr. who is in Houston as part of the first stop of an exciting new concert series. He graciously accepted taking the time to drop by Aldine ISD to inspire a new generation of musicians.
Students heard England’s story. He recalled how in first grade, England sat in the auditorium awaiting a musical exhibition put on by his teachers. As the educators went through each of the instruments explaining and showcasing their abilities, England was immediately drawn to the violin. His face lit up with zeal at the idea of being able to learn how to play the instrument. At the time, England couldn’t have imagined that this moment would lead to a successful career as a one-of-a-kind violinist.
After being classically trained, England began to let his creativity fuel his music. Adding R&B, hip-hop, and soul twists to the music, he is transcended the traditional way that we hear the violin. He has become a well-respected violinist, garnering attention from Diddy, Quincy Jones, and Michael Jordan.
As an artist, he believes in the power of creating and owning any platform.
“If you have the talent, you don’t have to wait to be invited. You can set your own stage,” he shared.
In addition to his mastery of this instrument, he adds viola, cello, bass, guitar, drums, piano, and voice to his arsenal of sound, allowing him to transcend artistic boundaries of traditional violinists.
England and his music break through numerous barriers, as evidenced by his performance history that refuses to be pigeonholed into any one genre or demographic. He has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and also performed with John Legend at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles for an audience that included George Lucas, Elton John, and Lady Gaga. Additionally, he has produced, composed, and starred in several BET Channel commercials, performed halftime shows in 26 NBA arenas, and composed the music for and starred in a Super Bowl XLVII commercial. He has also appeared in several WWE showcases, including the NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, an episode of WWE SmackDown Live, and at SummerSlam.
England has made it his life’s work to open the world of music to as many people as possible. He has been called “the Soul Violinist” due to his stylistic blend of R&B, hip-hop, and soul, and has even been referred to by the legendary Quincy Jones as “a remarkable talent that comes by very rarely, creating original and unique music straight from his soul.”
He encouraged students to believe in their talent. He explained it might take time. Even a few mishaps along the road. If they put in the work, they will persevere.
“It is all about technique,” said England. “Learn all the rules. Once you master them, you can then break them to make music that is your own.”
The event will be a stirring performance produced by England, who will be accompanied by talented Houston string players and vocalists. This concert will include a fusion of classical and modern works with musical influences from various genres of music.
Houston earned a special place in England’s heart after a concert he performed here while on hiatus from working with Ben Vereen in New York. He performed recently during the celebrity-server dinner for the Chris Paul Family Foundation. Chris Paul and England share a common goal and passion to use their talents to improve the lives of area youths and give back to the community. As an example, England will donate a portion of his concert proceeds to the foundation that serves local Houston youth. Tickets and sponsorship opportunities for this concert are available; visit www.leeenglandjr.com or email [email protected] for more information.
Director of Written Communication & Spanish Media
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