Julian Lee Profile

Chris Bourke
20 May 2013

Julian Lee was nicknamed "Golden Ears" for good reason. Blind since birth, he had acute listening skills that helped him become an internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, producer and arranger.

His ears didn’t just help him spot a flat note coming from the back row of the brass section, they also helped him recognise people saying hello in the street, decades after they had last met.

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Julian Lee Big Band
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Don Burrows Band: L-R Don Burrows, Frank Gibson Jr, Julian Lee, Andy Brown, George Golla
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Bon mots from Julian Lee on a return visit to Dunedin, 1969
Photo credit: Ross Somerville collection
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Esme Stevens on vocals, George Campbell on bass, Frank Gibson Sr on drums. Back row: Bob Davis, Dale Alderton, Murray Tanner, Neil Bruce, Heck Dainty, Front row: Norm Powell, Colin Martin, Julian Lee, Pem Shepherd, Jim Watters. Standing: Bob Leach. 1ZB Radio Theatre, early 1950s
Photo credit: Bernie Allen collection
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Sunday jam session, Epi Shalfoon band, early 1950s: Jack Clague (trombone), Julian Lee (trumpet), Frank Gibson (drums), Bob Ewing (bass), Allen Posley (piano), Ray Gunter (guitar)
Photo credit: Frank Gibson Jr. Collection
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Julian Lee, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and mentor
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Julian Lee at his ham radio
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Ricky May and The Julian Lee Orchestra, 1988
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