Maestro J

Maestro J

 Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Maestro J is a neo soul jazz violinist. He creates music that is wonderfully listenable, probingly intelligent, and breathtakingly daring...taking the listener into the future of neo-soul jazz.


Maestro J (James Racine) was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti into a family of musicians. His parents are both professional classical musicians and educators. Maestro J began playing the violin at the age of four, instructed by his mother, and later studied with Yvrose Philippe-Auguste and Romel Joseph.

As a young teen, he was awarded summer scholarships to travel to the United States and attend the Sewanee Summer Music Center, in Tennessee. By the age of sixteen, he was the assistant concertmaster of the Holy Trinity Philharmonic Orchestra in Haiti and the first violinist of the Holy Trinity String Quartet. He led the quartet to the Finals at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in South Bend, Indiana. At the age of 18, He moved to the United States to pursue further musical education.

He attended the University of Kentucky where he was awarded a full music & academic scholarship. He studied the violin and the viola respectively with Professors Daniel Mason and Dorotea Hoffman. He played in the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra and The Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. During his undergraduate years, Maestro J fell in love with teaching and volunteered his time to The String Project, a program delivered by the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) to offer a musical education to the youth. He was then hired to commute and teach at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Maestro J founded The Animato String Quartet. He performed along with violinists Hristo Popov, Ella Chang and cellist Yoonie Choi. This quartet performed at many events around the nation and were awarded a full fellowship to participate in the Garth Newel Chamber Music Festival in Hot Springs, Virginia.

Maestro J received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance with a concentration on violin.

Undoubtedly a sought-after performer & educator, James took the position as both Musical Director and Orchestra Director at The Kentucky Country Day School College Preparatory Program, where he holds a full violin studio. He also teaches at the Western Louisville Talent Education Center along with Keith Cook. This is a program offering private instruction to children who cannot afford private lesson fees. He is the principal violist for The Louisville Bach Society, and has also performed with The Louisville Orchestra.

Maestro J regularly honors performance commitments at public and private events and many festivals across the nation and in the Caribbean. He has performed at festivals such as The Richmond Jazz Festival, The Suffolk Jazz Festival, Panama City Jazz Festival, World Fest, etc and has performed shows with artists such as Marsha Ambrosius, Roy Ayers, Gerald Albright, Jon B, Dru Hill, Amel Larrieux, Al Jarreau, George Duke, Chaka Khan, Ledisi, Lalah Hathaway, and more… Maestro J recently released his neo-soul jazz album “So Far” on which he showcases the best of his talent.


Maestro J: "Stages of Love"
Maestro J: "So Far"
Maestro J: "My Take"