UDC: “We Are Black History” – Allyn Johnson
UDC: “We Are Black History”
UDC Alum – Jazz Composer, Arranger and Producer
He is one of Washington, DC’s most revered and influential musicians. Allyn Johnson, is a multi-talented musician, composer, arranger and producer whose trademark sound gives brilliance and fortitude to the art of jazz improvisation. A prodigy who began playing piano at the young age of five, Johnson got his start playing piano for the youth choir in his uncle’s church. It was there that he honed his inner musical gift.
While a student at the University of the District of Columbia, Johnson was mentored by the late great jazz legend Calvin Jones, a venerable figure in the international jazz community. At UDC, he was the first recipient of the Felix. E. Grant Scholarship Award in jazz performance. He graduated magna cum laude from UDC in 1997 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies.
Johnson has served for more than six years as an adjunct professor of music and assistant director of the Jazz Studies program before succeeding Jones as the director in 2005.
He is one of the nation’s most sought after musicians in the jazz community, and is celebrated by musical giants as well as the “young lions” of his generation. He was chosen for the highly competitive Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in 2001, and returned to teach in the program in 2002. As a composer-arranger, he has a growing library of works for ensembles of varying sizes and instrumentation.
In 2005, Johnson started an ensemble combining Gospel, Jazz and Classical music called Divine Order. He also has a group called Sonic Sanctuary, which may be heard as his trio or small ensemble ranging from acoustic straight ahead jazz to jazz fusion and funk.
In 2016, he released “The Art of Becoming” and “The Light That Grew Among Us” in 2015, which was a tribute to the great pianist Mulgrew Miller.
To learn more about Allyn Johnson, follow the links below: