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Performer, composer/arranger and educator, Allyn Johnson is currently Director of the Jazz Studies program and jazz ensembles at the University of the District of Columbia. A graduate of the University of the District of Columbia Jazz Studies program, he was the first recipient of the UDC Foundation’s Felix E. Grant Scholarship award in jazz performance. In 1997 jazz legend Calvin Jones chose him as his assistant director of the UDC Jazz Ensemble and provided a seamless transition for the program following Jones’ sudden death in 2004.
As one of the most sought-after pianists by the revered musical giants as well the “young lions” of his generation, he performs regularly with local and touring artists at all the major jazz venues in the Washington, DC–Baltimore, MD area, as well as in New York and Philadelphia. He recently served as musical director, conductor and pianist for the inaugural performance of the Washington Jazz Orchestra at the People's Inaugural Jazz Concert at the Lincoln Theatre. He was chosen for the highly competitive Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Kennedy Center Jazz Residency for Young Artists in 2001 and taught in the 2002 Jazz Ahead program. He directs Divine Order – an ensemble of exceptionally gifted and talented instrumentalists and vocalists from the Washington metropolitan area and will be a featured artist at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival in February 2010 when he directs the DC Jazz Orchestra.
Under Allyn Johnson’s direction, the UDC Jazz Studies Program has continued Calvin Jones’ rich legacy with his own stamp of musical brilliance and it is apparent to all that the program is in good hands.