Endorsed by Michael Jordan, signed by Quincy Jones, and supported by the likes of Sean “Diddy” Combs, Lee England Jr. has without a doubt paved a unique path as a violinist. Although he is classically trained, he is claimed as “The Soul Violinist,” due to his stylistic blend of R&B, hip-hop, and soul. In addition to his mastery of this instrument, he adds viola, cello, bass, guitar, drums, piano, and voice to his arsenal of sound, allowing him to transcend artistic boundaries of traditional violinists.
In 2009, England cut his elementary school teaching career short to pursue his passion for music by auditioning for MTV’s “Making His Band.” Captivated by his extraordinary talent, the judges quickly changed the policy of the show to allow “non-traditional” instrumentalists to be considered; as a result, he landed a spot on the show as the sole violinist. Diddy named him the band’s “secret weapon,” and after gaining recognition from the show, he appeared as a guest performer on Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Mo’Nique Show, performed in concert with Stevie Wonder and Babyface, in addition to opening for rappers Ludacris, Trey Songz, Jermaine Dupri, and Akon. During this time, he was also recruited to produce, compose and star in several BET commercials.
Shortly afterward, England was invited to tour with R&B singer K’Jon. During a performance at the 2010 All-Star Weekend for Michael Jordan, Spike Lee, Russell Simmons, Dwayne Wade, and Gabrielle Union, K’Jon allowed England to take a five minute solo. England impressed the audience to such an extent that Michael Jordan immediately offered him an endorsement deal with his shoe brand, making England one of the first non-athletes to be sponsored by Jordan. Following the endorsement, England has become a well-known entertainer for a variety of events for athletes such as Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade, camps for LeBron James, and halftime shows in 26 NBA arenas. Most notably, he was commissioned to compose music for, and star in an NFL commercial for Super Bowl XLVII.
In early 2016, England performed at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles of greats such as George Lucas, Elton John, Lady Gaga, and Quincy Jones. Jones was enthralled with his performance and offered to produce a showcase with him at the Geffen’s Gil Cates Theatre; subsequently, Jones signed England to his management company, Quincy Jones Productions. England continues to perform at an impressive list of events worldwide and most recently played the intro song for Shinsuke Nakamura’s WWE NXT Takeover entrance.
Furthermore, throughout his time as a street performer, he met and gathered a group of talented musicians to create what is now called, The Soul Orchestra. Emphasizing his belief in the power of the collective, he regularly performs with his orchestra and continues to educate children through his non-profit “Love Notes, LLC.” England is currently writing for his debut album, which reflects his addition of vocals, creating a completely new sound.