Cleveland Hts. Native & Dynamic Jazz Guitarist now based on East Coast back on Nighttown Stage with his NYC based Group!
Featuring: Seth Johnson-guitar, Jordan Scannella-bass, & Sam Merrick-drums.
Seth L Johnson is an established guitarist, a passionate composer and dedicated educator. Having earned his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from San Francisco State University, and his Master’s degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts (under the tutelage of Vic Juris), Johnson grasps and interprets a well-rounded, expansive scope of musical genres. He plays Jazz, Western Classical, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, Brazilian, African, Country, Funk, Bosa Nova, and Hip Hop.
Johnson was born in Buffalo, NY and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. There, he began playing and experimenting with guitars, at age 10. Largely self-taught, he developed individualistic approaches to music and his instrument-- prior to receiving formal training. Inspired by his first teacher, Cleveland blues guitarist John Christopherson, Johnson delved deeply into the blues and finger-style guitar. Thus, while thoroughly exploring the outskirts of the guitar’s sound and timbre, and embracing his musical versatility, the blues has ultimately remained at the core of his style.
After a somewhat transient lifesyle- Cleveland to San Francisco, Chicago, and Paris, France- you’ll presently find Seth L. Johnson living and teaching in New York, NY, and touring around the world. Life in Cleveland, New York, and travels have been (and continue to be) major influences throughout his career.
Over the last decade, Johnson has had the opportunity to share the stage or record with diverse and noteworthy artists such as Pharoah Monch, Jean Grae, Camp Lo, Andy Allo, Mob Deep, Hassan Hakmoun, Kaissa Doumbe, Lee Hogans, Enoch Smith Jr, Jerome Jennings, and countless others. Past festivals performances include The North Sea Jazz Fest (Rotterdam), Big Wig Hip Hop Festival (Singapore), SXSW, Tri-C Jazz Fest (Cleveland), Montreal Jazz Festival (Montreal), Riverside Jazz Festival (Jersey City), Pittsburgh Jazz Fest, Djangology Festival (Brooklyn), Gnawa Music Festival (Morocco).
Noteworthy recordings of late include SoNuvo- Now That You're Gone; Lee Hogans- What We Play Is Life; Shenandoah and The Night- 100 Wants; Chickentown- Doggies Don't Ride The Train; Shirazette Tinnin- Humility and many more to come later in 2017.
Johnson is also a member of the Brooklyn based supergroup People's Champs, whose members have performed internationally with Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Boy George, Beyonce and many others. As a leader Seth can be seen performing in such notable New York venues as The Blue Note Jazz Club, The Apollo Theatre, The Lambs Club, The Bitter End, The Rum House, Fat Cat, Smoke, Brooklyn Bowl, The Jazz Standard, Mercury Lounge, Zinc Bar, S.O.B.'s, Joe’s Pub, Rockwood Music Hall among others.
Johnson's musical inspirations and enjoyments include, but are certainly not limited to: Jimmy Hendrix, Lenny Breau, Marc Ribot, Robert Johnson, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Nina Simone, Erik Satie, James Blake, D'Angelo, Bjork, and Fiona Apple.