YOUR SOURCE OF JAZZ AND MORE IN WASHINGTON DC AND THE WORLD
Advocate for Preserving America's Classical Music, "JAZZ",
it's African American Legacy, Roots and Heritage!
May through October
Schedule subject to change
April - Open
May 02, 2015 - 8 pm - San Antonio Bar & Grill - Wash DC
May 10, 2015 - 8 pm - Mother's Day @ Clef Club, Philadelphia, PA
May 21, 2015 - 9 pm - Dukem Jazz Club - Wash DC
May 23, 2015 - 3 pm - Private Party - Wash DC
May 25 - June 4, 2015 - Mid-East Tour
June 8 & 9, 2015 In studio for CD recording
June 12, 2015 - 6 pm DC Jazz Festival - National Sculpture Gardens, Wash DC
June 20, 2015 - 1 pm Private Party - Wash DC
May 27 - June 3 Israel with Leonid Ptashka - Five city tour
June 22-29, 2015 - Orlando FL
July 11, 2015 - Concert - VA
July 13 - 27th - Canada
August 3, 2015 - 8 pm Blues Alley - Wash DC
August 5 - 24 - Summer Vibes Festival, Herning, Denmark
August 27, 2015 -Tahir Birthday
Sept 27, 2015 - 4 pm - Jazz @ Christ Episcopal - Clinton MD
Oct. 18, 2015 - 4 pm - Jazz @ Meade Memorial - Alexandria VA
AVAILABLE FOR BOOKINGS: 240.694.7560
Now Booking: USA, Canada, South America, Africa, Austrailia, UK, Europe, Asia
(Historic 16 sec sound clip)
NEA Jazz Master
Hey Benny, I penned lyrics to Blues March over 35 years ago.
Oh Yeah... Okay let's do them
Remember to turn off music player when viewing videos
READ About GVJ: Suggested book:
THINKING IN JAZZ! THE INFINITE ART OF IMPROVISATION!
Author: Paul F. Berliner
Professor of Ethnomusicology at Northwestern University, Chicago IL.
Jazz Phrasing by Dr Gloria Cooper & Don Sickler: - A Workshop For The Jazz Vocalist with lyrics by George V Johnson Jr. It covers: Specific Rhythm Phrasing interpreting 8th notes, specific rhythm figures; Open Phrasing exploring tempos and styles, working with ballads; Tips on Performance choosing a tempo and counting off, telling the song’s story, working with your ensemble; and more. The accompanying CD lets you: compare transcriptions to recorded examples, listen to vocal and instrumental examples, sing along with the rhythm section, create backgrounds and analyze arrangements.
The 1st Hank Mobley Jazz Festival produced by Don Sickler featuring George V Johnson Jr, Frank Wess, Don Braden, Houston Person, Eric Alexander, Semus Blake, Joe Lovano. Jazz Standard Oct 28 to Nov 2, 2003 a week long event.
HOOKED ON MOBLEY!!!
Music: Hank Mobley
Arrangements: Don Sickler
In 2003, George V Johnson Jr. was commissioned by Don Sickler of Second Floor Music to pen lyrics to the music of jazz legend and saxophonist, Hank Mobley. Since taking on the project Johnson has skillfully, completed over 40 of Mobley’s classic compositions and still counting. Some with complete solo’s. Critics are already saying this is one of the most important and extensive projects to be presented to the public from the jazz vocalese realm in many, many years. With Jazz Vocalese, still in a state of infancy, Johnson has almost single handedly kept the vocalese dream alive as exemplified from his performances presenting the Music of Hank Mobley. A feat unmatched by any of his peers in jazz music. His lyrics are well rounded, beautifully written and a classic work of art. In the spirit of Eddie Jefferson, Johnson’s a modern day “GRIO” telling stories our ancestors would be very proud of ...a la...Langston Hughes
Hank Mobley recorded many of his classic compositions on the Blue Note label featuring some of the greatest names in jazz. Mobley composed over 100 songs that are becoming jazz classics and every musicians dream. Johnson’s soulful style and earthly lyrics to this great composers work establishes new dimensions in Jazz Vocalese. The voice accented with skillful musicians magically connects with the Mobley Spirit. Just imagine! Swinging, stories that take you on a musical voyage. Everyone should experience this. See what the buzz is all about. Join in the fun and bring the music of Hank Mobley to your city today. It’s Jazzically wonderful.
Hank’s Symphony, Soul Station, Dig Dis, No Room For Squares, East of The Village, This I Dig of You, Take Your Pick, Three Way Split, Split Feelings, Up A Step, Work Out, The Baptist Beat, My Groove Your Move, Soft Impressions, Hank’s Waltz, Chain Reaction, Roll Call, Syrup & Biscuits, Snappin Out, Comin’ Back, The Feelings Good, Uh Huh, Up Over and Out, Looking East, Cute N’ Pretty, Third Time Around, Bossa For Baby, Ballin, Madeline, No More Goodbyes, The Break Through, Hank’s Other Bag, Infra Rae, Straight NoFilter, Caddy for Daddy, The Morning After. . . and more
Imagine listening to a seasoned jazz musician rip into a bebop solo so sizzling and smooth it makes your senses tingle. Close your eyes and play along. Try and picture the sweat bouncing off the performer like the notes that leap through the air. See if you can hear the mesmerizing melodies go up and down, bringing you through joy and sadness, taking your emotions on a sensory experience unlike any other. Now picture that musician and his beloved instrument: His voice. That's the art of vocalese, and that's what native D.C. son George V Johnson Jr. has been doing for over 40 years....Working as a performer, a D.C. Metrobus driver and a New Jersey train conductor at different times throughout his life, Johnson's latest work has taken the form of pedagogy. He has become a teacher and mentor to both aspiring and established vocalists from around the area, and most recently he has lent his years of experience and talent to AU, leading the AU jazz vocal ensemble. ~~By Ben Lozovsky - 2005
Eddie Jefferson & GVJ Left Bank Jazz Society 1977 Passing the torch
THE LEGACY CONTINUES....
GEORGE V JOHNSON JR,...considered by many as “Heir Apparent” to Jefferson’s innovation and is one of the foremost practitioners of the vocalese style on the Jazz scene today. He first turned heads on his debut recording in 1981 with “Pharaoh Sanders” on the LP REJOICE and was credited with vocals and lyric on Coltrane’s classic “Moments Notice “, later reissued on CD by Evidence Music Johnson was mentored and performed regularly with “James Moody & Lou Donaldson”. Two of the greatest saxophonist in the history of Jazz. His close association with Moody led to many Local & National Live Radio and Television Broadcasts.
THE ONE AND ONLY!
"Moody's Mood For Love"
August 3, 1985
Eddie Jefferson's Birthday Jazz Mobile Concert
Grants Tomb, NYC
While appearing with James Moody over one dozen live NPR coast to coast
radio & television broadcast
The two were introduced by John Malachi in 1975. Donaldson has been presenting Johnson ever since.
"The Gingerbread Boy"
Johnson was invited to the stage from the audience by the great Jimmy Heath
during the during the DC Jazz Festival 2011
Benny Golson and George V Johnson Jr pose for a fan after a impromptu invite to the stage on
Charlie Parker's "Now's the Time" and tribute to the late James Moody "Moody's Mood for Love"
at the historic "Bohemian Caverns"
Thank you for your impressive E-mail message and the enclosed photographs. It was great meeting you and hearing you. Though you had a comforting job and an abundance of security as a conductor with The New Jersey Transit, it's obvious your heart lies within the existing realm of the music we lovingly call jazz. Few of us will ever get rich by engaging in this pursuit, but our hearts will be overrun with joy and satisfaction for having done it. Time cannot be so cruel as to keep us apart indefinitely. So, onward and upward as we chase our dreams with a votive and determined effort, in spite of all else, with an inelluctable spirit of success concerning our proleptic tomorrows. We have no choice but to HIT IT over and over again at every opportunity as faithful visionaries letting no one or anything get in our way.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
Hank Mobley Jazz Festival
Frank Wess, GVJ & Don Sicker @ Jazz Standard
COLTRANE’S classic “Moments Notice” is a complete gas! Sanders like Coltrane, pulls and holds attention with his entrances. Bobby Hutcherson’s and Hicks solo’s are heated and models of vivid imagination. The three put forth some of the very best solo’s in the entire album. The there’s the arresting new talent introduced here on compact disc in debute - GEORGE V JOHNSON JR., whose marvelous lyrics and viocal work are truly auspicous! He sngs with James Moody on occassion and is happily remindflul of the insistent giftness of the late EDDIE JEFFERSON. Johnson’s three stanzars close with ”Relax dig the sounds of Coltrane’s Music. Coltrane fills your heart with love and harmony. Trane played with magic. Listen to the melodies and you will see momently. When you here the message of his song!”. There’s no doubt in my mind that henceforth George V Johnson sholuld and will be sought for his own gift to the music. He sang the song for Sanders at the Village Vanguard, and Sanders “felt that George ought to be heard”.
Thank you, Pharoah Sanders for your spirit of sharing! Wheeeeee....what a dynamite track this is~~~~HERBIE WONG!
GVJ, Javon Jackson & Jimmy Cobb 83rd birthday celebration @ Bohemian Caverns
Photo by Bill Brower
He has also shared the stage with Richie Cole, James King, Nasar Abeday, Dizzy Gillespie, Pharoah Sanders, Benny Golson, Jimmy & Tootie Heath, Jimmy Cobb, Don Sickler, David 'Fathead' Newman, Wallace Roney, Antoine Roney, Wes Anderson, Clifford Jordan, George Coleman, Frank Foster, Dr. Art Davis, Keter Betts, Calvin Jones, Zoot Simms, Al Cohn, Herman Foster, Harold Mabern, Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Rueben Brown, Marshall Hawkins, John Hicks, Barry Harris, Kirt Lightsey, Philly Joe Jones, Idris Muhammad, Larry Ridley and the Jazz Legacy Ensemble and many more. Johnson has entertained and performed at clubs, festivals, concert halls worldwide.
In 2003, George V Johnson Jr. was commissioned by Don Sickler of Second Floor Music to pen lyrics to the music of jazz legend and saxophonist, Hank Mobley. Since taking on the project Johnson has skillfully, completed over 40 of Mobley’s classic compositions and still counting. Some with complete solo’s. Critics are already saying this is one of the most important and extensive projects to be presented to the public from the jazz vocalese realm in many, many years. With Jazz Vocalese, still in a state of infancy, Johnson has almost single handedly kept the vocalese dream alive as exemplified from his performances presenting the Music of Hank Mobley. A feat unmatched by any of his peers in jazz music. His lyrics are well rounded, beautifully written and a classic work of art. In the spirit of Eddie Jefferson, Johnson’s a modern day “GRIO” telling stories our ancestors would be very proud of ...a la...Langston Hughes. Other accomplishments includes lyrics to over 30 Charlie Parker compositions and is one of the most exciting vocalist on the jazz scene today!
Blog Talk Radio
I'm a student of the Eddie Jefferson School of Bop!
Ayelet Zohar, PhD (Smithsonian Institute) - Haifa, Israel
Dr. Ayelet Zohar, History of Art and Asian Studies depts. University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, IsraelLetter of Reference
To whom it may concern:
George V. Johnson Jr. was my jazz singing teacher over the period of summer 2011 (June-September 2011).George is an outstanding singer in his own right, and has wonderful teaching abilities that complete this skill. George is a sensitive and thoughtful instructor, and was attentive to any request or complexity Ihave faced through the process of learning his style of jazz singing, the vocalese.
In the past, I was learning jazz with several teachers in California, people who gave me the opportunity to take my first steps into the realm of jazz. However, it was through my study with George that I could experience the heart and nature of true, black culture deep connection to jazz, and how this singing wasborn out of the painful history of black communities in the US, joined with the cheerful and happy moments of music making and pleasures of life. George introduced me to important musicians in hiscycle such as Eddie Jefferson, James Moody, Hank Mobley, Miles Davis, Sarah (Sassy) Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald and more. When teaching me Hank Mobley’s This I Dig of You, George was working with me on correct pronunciation and tempo; When working on Miles Davis’ So What, George emphasized modes of wording and rhythm, and the relationship between lyrics and tune; when working on Body & Soul it was emotion and modes of expression that was in the focus; George was also very helpful in helping me to reshape and better understand the modus and style of songs such as Dat Dere, Joy Spring,I’ve Got it Bad, and more.
All in all, George proved to be an extremely talented individual who helped me tremendously in understanding jazz music background and way of singing, the genealogical ties between people and style, and how all these link together to become a unique style of singing which George V, Johnson Jr. is indeed, a master of.I highly recommend any individual or group to take George as their singing instructor!
Sincerely, Dr. Ayelet Zohar
History of Art and Asian Studies depts..University of Haifa Mt. Carmel 31905 Haifa
* * * * * * * *
Letter of Recommendation to National Endowment of the Arts
John Malachi (born September 6, 1919 – February 11, 1987) was an American Jazz pianist born in Red Springs, North Carolina, who was a member of the epochal Billy Eckstine Bebop Orchestrain 1944-45 and again in 1947.
The band featured: Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Charlie Parker, Lucky Thompson,Wardell Gray, Gene Ammons, Leo Parker, Trummy Young, Cecil Payne, Sonny Criss, Oscar Pettford, Shadow Wilson, Tommy Potter, Fats Navarro. Tadd Dameron and Gil Fuller were among the band's arrangers, and Sarah Vaughan gave the vocals a contemporary air. The Billy Eckstine Orchestra was the first bop big-band, and its leader reflected bop innovations by stretching his vocal harmonics into his normal ballads.
Malachi opted out of the traveling life of the touring jazz musician in the 1960s, living roughly the last decade and a half of his life in Washington, D.C. freelancing, playing with touring bands and artists when they stopped in Washington, and leading music workshops at clubs like Jimmy MacPhail's Gold Room and Bill Harris's Pig's Foot. Malachi's generosity towards younger musicians was legendary. One of the musicians he helped influence recalls that younger players referred to his workshops as "The University of John Malachi." 
First time on TV. John Malachi presents "Your Majesty" George V Johnson Jr on the Carol Hall Show channel 7 news @ the PIGFOOT Jazz Club in NE Washington DC - 1976. During the same year we appeared on the Sue Simmons show THE PLACE". Sue had just arrived to Wash DC and worked with Jim Vance a pairing that resulted in one of the first, if not the first, African-American co-anchors of a major market newscast. Now's the time for another appearance on a Major TV News Network.
John Malachi arranged Johnson's original composition Opening Night. Johnson kept telling
John that he had this song he wanted him to hear. One evening Malachi invited him over to his house
and asked him to sing the song to him. Within an hour John wrote it out the song and the rest
is history. He asked him what was the name of the song and Johnson responded....I haven't named it yet!
John suggested that he call it "Opening Night". He also had an idea!!!
One month later Malachi presented on his first professional gig and introduced
him to the audience as "YOUR MAJESTY" George V Johnson Jr.
Malachi is also credited with creating the nickname "Your Majesty": for George V Johnson Jr, Vocalist & Executive Director of the Washington DC Jazz Network,. He was fond of categorizing jazz pianists into "acrobats" and "poets," classifying himself among the latter.
"Your Majesty" George V Johnson Jr & John Malachi