Justina Shandler is an award-winning singer-songwriter and teacher who grew up next to a llama farm in Roanoke, Virginia. Her music falls under the umbrella of pop, somewhere between Regina Spektor and Sara Bareilles. She juxtaposes her convivial Disney princess-esque voice with complex themes like grief, social activism, and self-empowerment. All the while, she is an engine of positivity and enthusiasm.
Justina has won many national and international awards, including Carnegie Hall’s songwriting competition, UK Songwriting Contest, and third place at the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival. She has performed original songs at Lincoln Center and Rockwood Music Hall in New York (with members of Sara Bareilles’ band), at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, TN, and at various comedy clubs in Los Angeles. She has shared transcendent co-writes with Nashville songwriter, Craig Carothers, and studied under hit songwriters Jon Lind (Boogie Wonderland) and Cathy Heller (of #1 iTunes podcast Don’t Keep Your Day Job).
Unexpectedly, Justina ended up in prison (… as an instructor). She taught songwriting and played rock music with over fifty incarcerated men at Dade and Everglades Correctional Institutions through non-profit organization, Exchange for Change. During the summer, Justina builds confidence with young songwriters at Interlochen Arts Camp, an intensive three-week program.
As an adjunct professor, Justina shares songwriting wisdom at the University of Miami, where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Media Writing and Production. She has toured the country with her original music, which can be streamed or downloaded on all major platforms. She loves leftovers, Larry David, and alliterations. And llamas.