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Jazz Pianist Justin Kauflin in Concert at Library of Congress, Oct. 22

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) will present jazz pianist Justin Kauflin in concert at the Library of Congress on Oct. 22.  A talk by the artist will precede the concert.

The concert will begin at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, in the Coolidge Auditorium, on the ground level of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  Kauflin will talk about his craft at 6 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion, a room adjacent to the auditorium.  The talk and concert are free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed.

In addition, an exhibit of braille and audio music materials available from NLS will be on display in the North Hall Gallery on the first floor of the Jefferson Building from Oct. 6, 2014, through Nov. 3, 2014.  The exhibit is free and open to the public.

The 28-year-old Kauflin has studied music since the age of four. Originally a student of classical music, he shifted his focus to jazz when he enrolled in the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia, and began performing jazz professionally at age 15 while still in school. The mentorship of such notables as Jae Sinnett, Clark Terry and Quincy Jones moved Kauflin into a full-time career. A 2014 documentary, opening in select cities this fall, on Terry and Kauflin’s collaborative, “Keep on Keepin’ On,” won film festival awards across the country.

Kauflin came to NLS after he lost his sight at age 11.  As a patron of the NLS Music Section, he began borrowing instructional braille music materials. The relationship escalated when John Hanson, head of the Music Section, attended Kauflin’s Kennedy Center performance as an International Young Soloist Award recipient.

“His playing was scintillating,” said Hanson. “Justin is a wonderful example of why we have music services at NLS and what can grow from mere instructional books in the hands of a great talent. We are pleased to have the good fortune to share that talent further and to revive the NLS concert tradition.”

Kauflin’s performance will be the third concert presented by NLS.  The first featured the concert pianist Enrico Lisi of Milan, Italy, in 2005 and the second, jazz artist Bess Bonnier in 2006.  The concerts highlight NLS’s Music Section, which loans braille and large-print music scores and texts and instructional cassette recordings to eligible users. The concert is free and open to the public.

NLS administers the braille and talking-book program, a free library service available to U.S. residents and American citizens living abroad whose low vision, blindness, or disability makes reading regular materials difficult. Through its national network of libraries, NLS mails books and magazines in audio and braille formats and digital audio equipment directly to enrollees at no cost. Music instructional materials are also provided. Selected materials may be downloaded. For more information, visit www.loc.gov/nls/ or call 1-888-NLS-READ (1-888-657-7323).