Ishimori Woodstone Artist Justin Mendez is a professional jazz saxophonist and instructor. Since 2016, he has worked with HAPCO as a LIVE performer, youth advisor and clinic/camp instructor. He enjoys performing all forms of jazz music from classics to improv to experimental. As an educator, he emphasizes technique, personal style and stage presence. He has been a clinician at the HAPCO Summer Jazz Camp and the USC ColaJazz Workshop.
He has performed with artists including Wycliffe Gordon, Dave Liebman, Delfeayo Marsalis, Mark Rapp, Chad Lefkowitz Brown, Scott Wilson, Jeff Rupert, Dan Miller and Miguel Zenon. He performs regularly at local venues and community events including Pilars, The Vineyard, UNF Fine Arts Center. He has performed at festivals including HAPCO Jazz Festival, Ocoee Jazz Festival, Koger Jazz Festival, Litchfield Jazz Festival, Jacksonville Jazz Festival, Lakeside Jazz Festival and Orlando Latin Jazz Festival.
At University of North Florida, he is majoring in jazz studies. He is a member of JE1, UNF’s top jazz ensemble.
He has participated in educational conferences including the Midwest Clinic, NAMM and the JEN Conference.
During his middle and high school education, he made 1st Chair in the All District concert band and All District Jazz band every year from 7th-12th grades. In 9th grade, he made 2nd chair in the All State Concert Band. His sophomore year, he made the UCF all star high school jazztet. He won the WDNA Scholarship Competition and received a full scholarship to the Litchfield Jazz Camp. He attended the Jamey Aebersold camp for five years, making the Top Jazz Combo every year. He attended the Stetson Saxophone Workshop for 4 years, the Inside Outside saxophone workshop for 3 years and the UNF Summer Workshop.