Having performed with Grammy-winning artists and in Grammy-nominated ensembles across North America and Europe, flutist, singer, and occasional visual artist Justine Lee Hooper (she/they) has taken the world by storm. A New Yorker by birth and at heart, her art shares the ethos of the city that never sleeps, melding together disparate genres, eras, and timbres to create uniquely human music. The concert hall, an open mic, a church cathedral—all are stages that Justine’s music has been known to frequent, with her online performances acknowledged by The New York Times and featured by the United Nations. Joined with a background of dedicated work in the visual and performing arts nonprofit sector, Justine seeks to broaden music’s reach and impact on its listeners.
As one who favors spontaneity in her life and music making, Justine’s current work aligns most closely with jazz and neo-soul. This journey began with their jazz debut feature in 2011 short film Kuvuka Daraja, a work featured in both the International Black Women’s Film Festival in San Francisco and the Zanzibar International Film Festival. Justine's recent sets cover the music of soul greats, Black spirituals, and soaring improvisations over live looped beats.
Justine has given hundreds of world premieres of contemporary classical music. One of her favorite performances came at the 2015 National Flute Association Convention, where they shared the stage with Flutronix, Sarah Brady, Cristina Ballatori, and more playing a range of electronic music to a beatboxed cello arrangement by Mara Miller, all while sketching a real-time charcoal drawing surrounding the audience. Other premieres have come at The Interchurch Center and St. John the Divine, and she has collaborated with artists such as Solange and Key Glock on their own projects. And of course, each improvised performance—whether taking the stage at historic NYC Park bandshells and amphitheaters with Sugar Hill Salon and for La Llamada, or hosting a virtual soundbath concert to Patreon subscribers—is a heartfelt premiere in and of itself.
As a writer, Justine has written for Babbel Magazine and The Flute View, and has been interviewed for her community work on This American Life. In addition, she was the Performance Keynote Speaker for McGill University's 34th annual Music Graduate Symposium in 2021.
Justine holds a B.M. in Music Performance from Ithaca College, with additional education in career development from The Juilliard School. She is endlessly grateful for her former flute teachers: Wendy Herbener Mehne, Bärli Nugent, Jessica Raposo, and Elizabeth Harris, as well as her first choir director, Vince Edwards. Justine performs on a handmade Haynes flute with a Haynes Fusion headoint. They currently serve on the Jazz Committee of the National Flute Association, and they are one of the first sponsored artists for CloudVocal wireless microphones.