An Oklahoma City police officer involved in a serious head-on collision turned to jazz for recovery. During that journey, Justin Echols found what he calls his "true path" in life.
"For me, it allows me to be transplanted from whatever emotional state that I'm in to the emotional state of the song," Echols said about jazz music. "It's one of the reasons why it was so effective in treating, in helping me treat my own sadness for the loss of my physical ability."
Echols found jazz as a means of therapy after an accident that left him with serious back injuries. He credited the music with lifting him out of a depression after that crash. It woke him up to a greater meaning of life.
"Inside of you, there's something you do better than most people and inside of that gift is your purpose," said Echols. "If you journey with the gift, you will find your purpose."
Echols said that purpose is bringing people together and giving them a way to escape their troubles.
"I enjoy taking the listener to that place and so everybody's going somewhere else," explained Echols. "When you forget everything else, when you forget about the bills for a second, you forget about stresses, you forget about differences."
As Echols grows more successful with his music he feels a greater responsibility to share his story in hopes to inspire someone else in a struggle.
"It took me a journey to figure that out and, it's really about finding out who you are and making your own journey to your passion and giftedness."
Echols will head to New York City to record his first major studio album. He has teamed up with some big-named jazz performers who have worked with some of the industry's most famous jazz musicians.
You can catch Echols playing at Hefner Grill Wednesday through Saturday evenings as well as Sunday mornings during brunch.