Justin Boyd earned his Bachelor’s of Arts in Music from the University of Illinois at Chicago and his Masters of Music in Jazz Studies (Composition) from DePaul University. He has directed the All-City Jazz Ensembles and Alt New Music Ensemble in the Chicago Public School system. He teaches drums, music theory and composition.
Born and raised on the west side of Chicago and attending both Vandercook College of Music and The Velvet Lounge; Justin Dillard’s studies at both institutions gave him the privilege to work with innovators locally and globally, such as Branford Marsalis, Robert Irving III, Ornette Coleman, Von Freeman and Roscoe Mitchell to name a few. Howard Reich (Chicago Tribune arts critic) writes: “A new generation of jazz improvisers has emerged in Chicago in recent years, but few are more promising than organist/pianist Justin Dillard. Musically, Dillard tends to be all over the keyboard, drawing upon the examples of virtuosos such as Dr. Lonnie Smith, Eddie Harris and McCoy Tyner. But there’s something more to Dillard’s work as well; a quest for new ideas in music, in the manner of his AACM mentors.”