Born in Ravenna, Ohio, he began his study of percussion and drum set at the age of ten. He has received music degrees in Percussion Performance from two esteemed universities. In 2002 he obtained a Bachelors of Music Degree from the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University and in 2005 a Masters of Music Degree from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. He also spent the Fall of 2002 semester doing post-graduate work at Cleveland State University. His principal teachers include Ted Rounds (KSU), Dr. Glenn Schaft (YSU), Tom Freer (The Cleveland Orchestra), and Mark Gonder (The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra), among others.
Justin started his professional career in his early-teens playing various rock and jazz related gigs near his hometown. Throughout college he freelanced principally in Northeast Ohio most frequently in the jazz, pop/rock, theatrical and classical idioms. He most recently finished a 2 ½ year stint as the drummer for the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra where he toured throughout the United States, Japan and Canada. He has also performed with many notable performers such as Jim McNeely, Michael Burritt, comedian Jack Carter, Larry O’Brian, David Morgan, The Four Aces, Dolores Parker Morgan, Julia Rich, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Paul McGhee, Joey De Francesco, Nick Hilscher, Bobby Shew, Kent Englehardt and Jimmy Heath.
Currently, Justin is residing in Asheville, NC where he is free-lancing and involved with several music projects. In addition to playing with the Like Mind Trio, he is the drummer for the Asheville Jazz Orchestra, a full sized jazz big band made up of many professional musicians from the Asheville region. He is also the drummer for the David Dhoop Band, an exciting groove-based rock band. Justin also performs with Peggy and the Swing Daddies and sometimes the Sharon LaMotte Band and Bill Gerhardt Trio as well as other jazz groups. He is also active with several regional theater groups such as the Asheville Community Theater, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theater and the Haywood Arts Regional Theater. In addition, Justin is teaching percussion at the Asheville Music School and is an adjunct instructor at the University of North Carolina Asheville.
Bassist/composer Mike Holstein has been playing music since early childhood. His first instruments were guitar, violin, piano and drums. It wasn’t until he was attending Western Carolina University that he discovered the bass. His affinity for the instrument was immediately apparent. Within a few years he was performing regularly and became one of the most sought after bassists in the Southeast. From the beginning he was writing his own music. He joined the creative young jazz group, the Taken Back Quartet. This ensemble soon became a fixture on the thriving Asheville music scene. They played to a loyal almost cult-like following.
In 2001, the members of the quartet along with Sharon LaMotte formed the Jazz Composers Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to the presentation and documentation of original, instrumental jazz. The Forum became a mainstay of the local music fabric as Mike and the Taken Back Quartet accompanied guest composers in concert presentations. Mike’s involvement grew with the forum whose activities now include workshops, presentations in grade schools and tours of venues throughout the region. He has presented his own music multiple times as leader and in the capacity of ‘Composer-in-Residence’.
Since 2004, Mike has been a member of the band Cotangent, a New York based group led by pianist/composer Bill Gerhardt. He has played on two recordings with this band, “Stained Glass” and “Thrive”. He also appears on Tony Moreno’s “Trio Music” (Art of Life Records). He has performed with Joe Locke, Ingrid Jensen, Randy Brecker, Frank Kimbrough, Kendra Shank, Ron Horton, Marc Mommaas and Tim Horner among others. A truly gifted musician, Mike is finding himself more in demand than ever as he performs in jazz clubs in New York, throughout the Carolinas.