Justin Ellington’s career has encompassed the role of composer, arranger, music director, producer, educator, sound designer and musician. His work in: theater, film and the record industry have allowed him to traverse through jazz, classical, blues, world and contemporary musical styles. . His understanding of difference in process for theater, film and radio have proven to benefit his career and have allowed him to traverse through the various industries with confidence.
As composer and sound designer Justin has had the great fortune to work with Lincoln Center Theater, The Guthrie, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Stratford Shakespeare Festival, The Goodman Theater, The Kennedy Center, Theater For A New Audience, New York Theater Workshop, The Public Theater, Williamstown Theater, New York Stage and Film, Actors Theater of Louisville, Children’s Theater Company, Royal Shakespeare Company, Center Theater Group, Geffen Playhouse, The Alliance Theatre, and others.
He has had the pleasure of collaborating on new works with acclaimed playwrights including John Guare, Neil Labute, Will Power, Marcus Gardley, Dominique Morriseau, Dael Orlandersmith, Jon Robin Baitz, and Adrianne Kennedy on her latest offering He Brought Her Heart Back In A Box.
Justin Ellington arranged, co-orchestrated and composed the music for the Dallas Theater Center production of Stagger Lee. The compositions spanned a centuries worth of American musical forms. The production earned high praise from audiences and was award Best New Musical by the Dallas Theater Awards. Justin was also part of the design that produced the critically acclaimed Broadway production of Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities. Among the play’s many accolades and awards the production was also recognized with a Tony Award nomination for Best New Play.
Justin Ellington’s music director credits include work in theater and with recording artists including: The Last Five Years, Middle School The Musical, The Wiz, Loving v Virginia, Stagger Lee (workshops), Donnie (former Motown recording artist), Lizz Wright (recording artist), the Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta and others.
Ellington has been the recipient of a Grammy award, an American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) award for his work in the recording industry. Justin has contributed to over 10 million albums sold. He earned a Grammy for his work with Usher (Raymond vs. Raymond) and an ASACP award for his work with Nicki Minaj (Pink Friday). In 2014, Mr. Ellington was commissioned to compose music for the National Museum for Civil and Human Rights. The project titled MOVE ACT FREE, led by George C Wolfe, was awarded a Cinema In Industry (CINDY) Award for production design.
As an educator, Mr. Ellington has been artist in residence at Princeton University, New York University, Southern Methodist University, and The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Initiative.
Justin is a proud member of the American Society of Composer and Publishers, United Scenic Artist local 829, bangladesh music group and Koblat Music Group.