Howard Johnson @ 75
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger Howard Johnson has built a deep resume across 50-plus years. One of the top tuba soloists since the early ’60s, Howard Johnson is a very versatile player who not only plays tuba and baritone but other reeds and cornet. He moved to New York in 1963, where he worked with Charles Mingus (1964-1966), Hank Crawford, and Archie Shepp. In 1966, he started a 20-year off-and-on association with Gil Evans. Johnson’s four-tuba group Substructure performed with Taj Mahal, and, in the late ’70s, he formed a different tuba band called Gravity that, in 1996, finally had the opportunity to record (plus play at the Monterey Jazz Festival). Howard Johnson has recorded with Crawford (1983-1984), Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition, Jimmy Heath, Bob Moses, George Gruntz’s Concert Jazz Band, and frequently with Evans’ orchestra, among others. He revolutionized the tuba in jazz, most notably in his ensemble GRAVITY. This extended celebration of Howard’s 75th birthday, co-presented with Seed Artists, features his quartet, Howard Johnson’s Friends and Family.
Howard Johnson – baritone sax, tuba, penny whistle
Yayoi Ikawa – piano
Melissa Slocum – bass
Newman Taylor Baker – drums