Primary Instrument: Guitar
Electric blues meets bebop with contemporary influences. An exciting convergence of sounds that has made Randy Johnston one of the hottest jazz guitarists both in the United States and abroad.
January 2006 marked the release of Randy Johnston Live, a full length DVD trio recording. This comes on the heels of the audio CD Is It You? which was a major hit on jazz radio in 2005. His previous eight CDs Hit and Run,Detour Ahead, Homage, Riding the Curve, Somewhere in the Night, In-A-Chord, Jubilation, and Walk On have all recieved critical acclaim and commercial success. Johnston's recordings have throught the years featured an impressive array of sidemen including Grady Tate, Joey De Francesco, Benny Green, Eric Alexander, Idris Muhammad, and the legendary Johnny Griffin among others. These albums feature both original material and compositions drawn from the great American songbook as well as new interpretations of the classic jazz repertoire.
Born in Detroit, Michigan in 1956, Randy Johnston moved to Richmond, Virginia when he was thirteen years old. Since arriving in New York after attending the University of Miami, Florida in the late 1970's and early 1980's he has performed and recorded with such jazz notables as Lou Donaldson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Houston Person, Etta Jones, Lionel Hampton, Jack McDuff, Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz, Tom Harrell, and Irene Reid. Randy has toured the world many times concertizing including stints in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa.
The key to this guitarist's appeal is how successfully he has blended various inspirations to create a firey jazz/blues style that reaches both the head and heart. My influences are a diverse group for sure says Johnston. Guitaristically I would say Wes Montgomey, Pat Martino, Grant Green, George Benson, Jimmy Raney, Kenny Burrell, and even B.B. King and Jimi Hendrix have played a role in my development. Of equally profound influence have been the great horn players such as Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and also pianists such as Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, and Wynton Kelly. Singers such as Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles in fluenced Johnston's soulful phrasing. Finally, saxophonist and producer Houton Person played a significant role as a mentor in enhancing Johnston's general musical knowlege and recording skills.
In addition to his performance and compositional talents, Randy Johnston has achieved distinction as an educator. He is currently on the jazz faculty at New York University; the State University of New York at Purchase, New York; and the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford, Connecticut. His responsibilities at these institutions include teaching ensembles and master classes as well as private instruction in jazz guitar. From 1991 to 1995 Randy was on the music faculty of Long Island University. He taught at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music during the years 1981 through 1987 and was a teaching assistant at the University of Miami, Florida from 1980 through 1981 while he was earning his music degree. In addition to these long term academic positions, Johnston conducts clinics and seminars on his many travels throughout the United States and abroad.
"Is It You?"-Randy Johnston; Highnote HCD 7122
"Hit and Run"- Randy Johnston; HighNote HCD 7098
"Detour Ahead"- Randy Johnston; HighNote HCD 7027
"Homage"- Randy Johnston; J Curve JCR 1010
"Riding the Curve"- Randy Johnston; J Curve JCR 898
"Somewhere in the Night"- Randy Johnston; HighNote HCD 7007
"In A-Chord"- Randy Johnston; Muse MCD 5512
"Jubilation"- Randy Johnston; Muse MCD 5495
"Walk On"- Randy Johnston; Muse MCD 5432
"All Soul"- Houston Person; Highnote HCD 7146
"The Champ"- Joey DeFrancesco; HighNote HCD 7032
"One Monkey Don't Stop No Show"- Irene Reid; Savant SCD 2028
"LIve on the QE2"- The Lou Donaldson Quartet; Chiaroscuro CR(D) 366
"Why Not!"- Houston Person; Muse MCD 5433
"The Party"- Houston Person; Muse MCD 5451
"Christmas with Houston Person and Friends"- Houston Person; Muse MCD 5530
"Another Real Goodun"- Jack McDuff; Muse MCD 5374
"Sugar"- Etta Jones; Muse MCD 5379
"Christmas with Etta Jones"- Etta Jones; Muse MCD 5411
"Travelin' Light"- Della Griffin; Muse MCD 5496
"I'll Get By"- Della Griffin; Muse MCD 5568
"You Got me Runnin'"- Larry O'Neil; Muse MCD 5426
"Doodlin'"- Papa John DeFrancesco; Muse MCD 5501
"Comin' Home"- Papa John DeFrancesco; Muse MCD 5531
"3 AM"- Rich Shemaria Jazz Orchestra; Amosaya Music AM 2536
"The Organizers plus One"- The Organizers; Olufsen DCOD 5375
"Joel Chasson's Jazz Mirage"- Joel Chasson; OTD 1003-2
"Eat Meat"- Paul Wagenburg Trio; Real Records RT 109-2
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