James Johnson III began playing the drums at the age of five in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. James’ early music experiences were centered around family life and shaped by the music of the church. His father, Dr. James Johnson Jr., a nationally known pianist and educator, sparked his passion for music. Johnson attended CAPA — Pittsburgh’s high school for the creative and performing arts. It was here he came under the mentorship of the drummer Roger Humphries.
In 1999, James was invited to tour with jazz legend Ahmad Jamal for many years. With Ahmad, James has performed all over the world, appearing in major jazz venues and festivals. As a member of the Ahmad Jamal trio, James has performed in some places such as the Cully jazz festival in Switzerland, the North Sea jazz festival in South Africa and the Dublin jazz festival and many others. Mr. Johnson has performed with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. James has played with jazz greats such as George Coleman, James Moody, Kenny Garrett, Benny Golson, Mulgrew Miller, Russell Ferrante, Bob Mintzer and Kenny Werner. James released his first solo album in 2014 entitled Between. James is presently working as head of the drum department at the Afro-American-Music-Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also serves as artist in residence at Pitt University’s music department working with various jazz ensembles under the direction of Geri Allen. James also spends a great deal of time producing music for national and local artists.
Join us at BLU Jazz+ as we welcome this sensational drummer & his all-star band for an evening of premier live jazz – get your tickets today!
|BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017)*|
|Committed to the preservation of America's treasured art form of jazz, BLU Jazz+ Masterclass Foundation (BJMF) is a new program developed by the founders of BLU Jazz+ Akron that brings “front-row” jazz education performance & mentorship opportunities to student musicians and art lovers alike through an ongoing series of special events throughout the year.|