Justin Rizzo was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. His parents, Mike and Anne, and older siblings, Danielle and Jonathan, have a passion for the Lord and for music that Justin shared from an early age. He began leading worship at his local church when he was just 12 years old. In January 2004, he moved to Kansas City, Missouri for an internship at the International House of Prayer. The lifestyle of worship and prayer immediately resonated in Justin’s heart and since that time, he has been involved in full-time worship ministry.
As a songwriter, Justin greatly enjoys the opportunity to create alongside so many talented singers, musicians, and writers. He has released five albums and been featured on multiple compilation projects along with writing and producing two full-length musicals. In addition, he travels extensively to lead worship and speak at conferences and events around the world.
As a full-time worship leader at the International House of Prayer, Rizzo led six, two-hour worship sets per week for 15 years. While these times focused on interceding for the nation, ending of human trafficking, world crisis events, etc., most sets were spent spontaneously singing the Bible. “We would study different verses and passages of scripture off stage as a team – singers, musicians, sound tech, etc. - and then lead as a team, creating spontaneous music, melodies and choruses while singing through certain passages or themes. This has absolutely changed my life and continues to be one of my most enjoyable, life-changing experiences.”
In addition to being a worship leader, songwriter and recording artist, Rizzo produces musicals and films through his Firelight Creative production company. He has written and produced three full-length musicals to date, including From Patmos, which is based on the life of John while enslaved on the Island of Patmos. One of two new musicals in the writing phase now is a comedy based on the Garden of Eden.
Along with a new book on worship leading and a podcast that will release later this year, Rizzo is also a worship coach. “I help worship leaders who feel overworked and isolated experience peace, confidence and create thriving worship communities.” His flagship Worship Leader Academy program offers not only unique online training resources, but also unlimited one-on-one access to Rizzo.
Justin currently lives in Kansas City with his wife, Naomi, and their daughter.