Lyrical and tasteful are the words used to describe Norman Johnson’s guitar playing. Norman has performed with such notables as Jerry Bergonzi, Bill Mays, Harvie S., Dave Brubeck, Phil Wilson, Chris Brubeck, and Pete Levin. In 1995, Norman, along with vocalist Dianne Mower, released their first collaborative cd “Maybe September” featuring Harvie S. This was followed by the big band recording “The New Millennium Jazz Ensemble” which featured Dianne Mower, Harvie S. and Bill Mays.
Norman was a partner in “J/P Productions” through the 80’s and 90’s where he composed original music for clients including UPS, IBM, Pratt & Whitney, and Otis. In 1997 He won “the Communicator” Award for a music/video production for Otis Elevator entitled “Otis in China”.
Since 1998, Norman has been performing with his quintet, “The Norman Johnson Group” and has now completed a CD with the group and friends. The CD includes many of Norman’s original compositions.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Norman moved to Brooklyn N.Y., and then to Connecticut where he now resides with his wife Maryanne. He attended the Hartford Conservatory and the Hartt School of Music. Norman was the Dean of Music at the Hartford Conservatory through the 1990s, and has a faculty position at the Greater Hartford Academy of Arts. He opened his recording studio “Manor Recording” in 1987 and continues to record and produce local and International artists.
By Dee Dee McNeil
From the very first strains of Norman Johnson’s guitar magic, I am under his spell. His music is full of joy for life. Johnson’s melodies are infectuous. On the first tune, “Slide” he makes me want to skip across the room. There is something light and carefree about this production of Johnson’s compositions. “Sing On” is another original composition by Norman Johnson that encourages us to come together as a people and features Grayson Hugh on vocals. This song is a blend of R&B, Pop and jazz. The repeatable ‘hook’ of the song reminds me a small bit of a Curtis Mayfield production