Jazz bassist, Jeff Johnson, received an acoustic guitar at age 9 and began his personal musical journey.
British rock and American soul music were his earliest influences. Early 1960's AM radio became his first teacher. Jeff learned the licks and chords of popular music of the time by listening and copying what he heard. At age 15, Jeff took a job offer to play electric bass guitar in a steadily working band which introduced him to jazz. By age 17 he was teaching himself the acoustic double bass, learning onstage with veterans and peers of the fertile Twin Cities jazz scene.
Jeff credits saxophonists Irv Williams, Larry Hillman, Bob Crea, Dick Oatts, and Bob Rockwell, as well as pianists Buddy Davis, Tom O'Donnell, Bobby Peterson, Art Resnick, and Bobby Lyle, along with guitarist Dean Granros, bassist Billy Peterson, and drummers Jay Epstein, Kenny Horst, Paul Lagos, and Eric Gravatt as early Minneapolis/St.Paul mentors.
In 1975, at age 20, Jeff left Minneapolis for Philadelphia to join legendary drummer Philly Joe Jones' then touring group called Le Gran Prix. After touring the Eastern seaboard for several months and experiencing the great cities of that coast, Jeff began following leads for gigs which had him living and working in many cities across America including Atlanta, Oklahoma City, Austin, San Diego, and Los Angeles, finally settling with his wife Marcy in Seattle in 1990.