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Lee England Jr. and The Soul Orchestra

Lee England Jr. and The Soul Orchestra 1 Photo

Lee England Jr. is a remarkable talent that comes by very rarely, creating original and unique music straight from his soul.  His imagination and musical innovation speaks to all of us, reinforcing that music is, indeed, a universal language.” – Quincy Jones
 
Every so often, comes a story that compels the spirit and ignites the soul. Lee England Jr.’s story provides an inspirational backdrop to his illustrious musical prowess. In a realm where true artistry and musicianship play the background to that which drives popular contemporary music, Lee England Jr. stands bold as an anomaly in his approach with an indelible talent both un-denied and unforgettable. This has to be why someone synonymous with greatness chose him to represent his brand. True enough, Michael Jordan selected England for the same reason the world should embrace him.
 
Born and raised in Waukegan, Illinois the home of Jack Benny, Lee’s musical journey began at the tender age of six. Intrigued by the violin during a class demonstration he quickly stated, “I want to play that one.” His parents brought his first violin home and this fairytale love affair came to a brief halt. Lee had convinced himself that the instrument was broken after attempting to mimic his teachers and he immediately decided to quit.  His father agreed with him and let him have his way so long as he practiced 15 minutes a day. Lee began practicing… so he could quit. In a pivotal instant his desire to quit turned into the love affair we are all able to witness.
 
Lee England Jr. is classically trained but refers to himself as “The Soul Violinist” due to his entrenchment in the heartfelt sounds that evoke emotion and capture the ear.
England adds viola, cello, bass, guitar, drums, piano and voice to his production resume, as well as boasting three music degrees (BS in Music Education, BS in Audio Engineering and a BA in Violin Performance) from Southern Illinois University. After graduating, Lee accepted a position as a music teacher with John M. Smyth Elementary School in The Chicago Public School System. He would say, “How can I inspire the children to go after their dreams, if I don’t go after mine?” This pursuit would lead him to cut his public school teaching career short.
 
At the age 25, Lee would find himself performing alongside Stevie Wonder. In that same year he would audition on Sean “Diddy” Combs television show Making His Band. The judges, blown away by his extraordinary talent, quickly changed the policy of the show to allow Lee an elite spot on the show as the only violinist and “non-traditional” instrumentalist. Diddy named Lee, the bands secret weapon and with that exposure his fame and acclaim began to soar. Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Mo’Nique Show, a commercial on BET (in which he stared in as well as composed and produced the soundtrack), performances in Africa, and a national tour ensued.
 
In collaboration with RnB singer, K’Jon, Lee found himself traveling the country performing as a soloist and member of the band. During this circuit, Lee was a featured act, in which he was given time on the stage by himself.  One tour stop was at a dinner celebration, during All-Star Weekend, for Michael Jordan’s birthday.  By the end of Lee’s solo, an audience including Spike Lee, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, Gabrielle Union, Russell Simmons and Michael Jordan, himself, were on their feet applauding. Immediately following the performance, Michael Jordan offered Lee an endorsement through the Jordan Brand to support his artistic endeavors, a spot reserved for athletes. This made him one of four non-athletes to represent the brand. Of this Lee would say, “When I decided to walk the path that was meant for me, Michael Jordan gave me shoes that made me fly.”
 
And fly he did… straight to Los Angeles where he now resides.  LA, the land of dreamers, became a playground for Lee’s talent. Making television appearances, performing at the most prestigious events, composing soundtracks, recording with his orchestra, collaborating with top artist, becoming a premiere talent for the NBA, sharing the stage with A-list celebrities, performing internationally, making headlines, raising money for his non-profit “Love Notes, LLC” by street performing and charitable partnerships, building his brand as an elite musician, composer and artist are commonplace occurrences for him. The name, Lee England Jr. has been imprinted into history, and onto the hearts of the people he encounters both on and off the stage.

 

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