Dr. Justin J. Morell
Dr. Morell, a guitarist and composer, has released eight recordings of his work, including “Subjects and Complements” in 2013 (Sonic Frenzy Records/BFM Digital). His previous recordings with Sonic Frenzy Records include “JMQ Live at Rocco’s” (2009), “duOrange” (2004), “triOrange” (2003), “The Music of Steely Dan” (2002), and “Septet” (2000). Dr. Morell’s first recording, “Quartet,” was released by Challenge Records in 1996 and he also self-published “Owl Sessions” in 2002.
In addition to frequently performing at LVC, Dr. Morell has performed nationwide, including in New York (John Daversa Progressive Big Band, 2013–2014), Oregon (Mike Prigodich MPEG Group, 2012), and Arizona (North American Saxophone Alliance, 2012). He has performed with the Joe Manis Trio at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival in Portland, Ore., with the Justin Morell Quartet (SETI Project), also in Portland, and with the Hashem Assadullahi Sextet at the Willamette University Jazz Festival in Salem, Ore.
Dr. Morell received his B.A. from UCLA, an M.A. from California State University, East Bay, and his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon where he studied under Robert Kyr and David Crumb. While his primary interests are composition and jazz performance, he is an experienced guitarist of all styles. In 2001, Dr. Morell moved to Oakland, Calif., where he continued to perform and compose music. During his four years there, he performed at jazz venues, premiered new classical works, played in pit orchestras, and studied composition with Frank LaRocca. He later moved to Eugene and Portland, Ore., where he freelanced as a guitarist, composer, and teacher.
Recent commissions include a song cycle for baritone and string quartet for the Pacific Serenades concert series in Los Angeles, a work for large jazz ensemble for the Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble, and new music for saxophone, bass, and guitar premiered at the North American Saxophone Alliance convention in Arizona.
Dr. Morell has had works performed by Fireworks Ensemble, the Oregon Jazz Ensemble, SO Percussion, the Onyx String Quartet, ECCE (Eugene Contemporary Chamber Orchestra), and the University of Oregon Saxophone Quartet. He has had pieces premiered at the Composers’, Inc., concert series, the Oregon Composers Forum, and Bargemusic in New York. He can also be heard on CDs, television, and film as a guitarist and as a drummer, as well as recording engineer and producer. Some projects he has worked on include Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can, Lifetime Original Movies, TV sitcom The Naked Truth, the Lion King-San Francisco, and various TV and radio jingles.
Dr. Morell recently presented his work at the 2014 Celebration of Faculty Scholarship and Pedagogy that took place during the week of February 16-22. On February 20, he gave a presentation of his research, “Dectet: Subjects and Compliments,” for the faculty and distinguished dignitaries.
To view Morell's professional site, visit justinmorell.com/blog/