As a music lover I listen to all kinds of music. I’m open to almost anything. Hip Hop and RnB though run my house. When fused together they make me feel some kind of way. It’s like an eargasm.
One Sunday I was on Venice Beach and had the pleasure of meeting a great musician who fuses together Hip Hop, RnB and classical music. It’s heavenly.
As a street performer Lee England Jr. tells his story with his violin to people all over the world. “It doesn’t matter what language you speak. Music is the universal language. It’s what connects us.”
Inspired by all music, this Soul Violinist has a special love for classical music because, “it’s spiritual in nature. Even without words, they connect with the feeling.” Not only does England play the violin, he plays all the strings except the banjo. Piano too. He can play anything from Tupac to Erykah Badu. Five minutes on stage during the NBA All Star Weekend was all he needed to turn Michael Jordan into a fan and now England is an ambassador for Brand Jordan.
Moving from Illinois to Los Angeles California, England made the decision to quit his teaching gig and pursue music full time. “How can I teach kids to follow their dreams if I’m not?” Now he’s working to partner with the Boys and Girls Club to provide children with musical instruments because he’s still passionate about inspiring young people. “Music in itself encompasses so many things. That’s why I really don’t understand why they would want to cut music out of the schools. It’s discipline, it’s creativity.”
Before he was the Michael Jordan of the Violin, he remembers a time when three guys approached him on the streets of Chicago. At first glance the guys looked suspect. Unsure of how the interaction would go, he kept playing. Music IS the universal language and the men connected. They gave him props, bought a CD and encouraged him on his musical journey. “It doesn’t matter what you look like. That’s the beauty of music.”
England has learned to be open to life and to try new things. As a result you never know where life can take you. “Who would have known I’d be traveling around the world playing the violin. I’m doing it my way”.
Click link below to see the Soul Violinst’s cover of Erykah Badu’s Call Tyrone.
Check out Lee England Jr.’s website for details on what the Soul Violinist is up to at his website.