An independent Billboard-ranked musician and NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz keyboardist and pianist, Marcus Johnson is also the CEO and Founder of FLO Brands, LLC and more recently FLO Wine, LLC. He has combined an eminently successful musical career with his love of wine by marrying the two in a unique endeavor.
Over the last decade, Marcus Johnson has released 15 successful studio albums. On Pandora, Marcus receives 5.1 million spins per year with 2,000 new stations added each month, and his music receives a 74% “thumbs ups” rating verses an average of 56%. Johnson is the owner of a music label, Three Keys Music, and has emerged as one of the young lions of the “DIY” music world. His unique self-taught style of piano play has earned him distinction among his peers, praise from the media and accolades across the music industry. Marcus is on the cutting edge of ‘Euro Jazz’ having formed JURIS, a musical collaboration with acclaimed Parisian DJ and producer Young Pulse. The duo quickly developed a name within the international music community, enjoying large-scale performances and preparing a Q3 release of their latest project entitled “Eiffel Tower.”
“On a recent Sunday evening, Marcus Johnson and his jazz quintet are tearing it up at Georgetown’s Blues Alley. The full house is egging them on. Johnson finds a riff he likes, a phrase on the upper-register piano keys, and his fingers move like hummingbird wings as he repeats and repeats and repeats. You can tell from the faces of the other band members that this is uncharted territory, but they are all sticking with the groove, which becomes deeper and deeper and deeper…”
- Dave Nuttycomb, Washington Post
Johnson’s FLO Brands, LLC,tm is aptly titled For the Love Of ; LLC. ™ FLO began as a musical publishing, production, and lifestyle branding company to house all of Johnson’s musical and entrepreneurial ventures. However the scope and reach of the company has expanded delving into winemaking, sourcing grapes and production in California. FLO Brands launched FLO Wines, LLC in March 2012. FLO Wine is capturing the taste buds of wine-lovers from California to South Carolina. To date retail partners in various states include Costco, Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, Giant, Harris Teeter, Renaissance Hotels, Kroger, Aloft Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, Farm Fresh, and Total Wine.
As the owner and brand ambassador, a marketing initiative is currently underway with Johnson’s “Sips & Sounds” performances marrying music and wine For the Love Of concept. FLO Wine currently offers a FLO Red Californian Blend and a FLO California Chardonnay. As of July 2013 the company is launching its 2011 FLO California Moscato.
A graduate of Howard University, Johnson went on to simultaneously earn both his MBA and Juris Doctorate degrees at Georgetown University. In 1995 during this demanding period at Georgetown, he also decided to independently produce and distribute his first jazz album, Lessons in Love, which sold more than 40,000 units, a major success for an unknown independent artist’s debut release. One year later, he released Inter Alia, with great acclaim. These two albums led to Johnson signing with N2K Encoded Music with whom he released several CDs until the label was sold in 1998.
Johnson’s success caught the attention of Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and businessman Robert L. Johnson who invested in Marcus and his newfound company, Marimelj Entertainment Group (MEG). Under their partnership, MEG’s label, Three Keys Music based in the Washington, DC metro area, established its own full service recording studio, Studio 8121; and two music publishing companies, Marimelj Music Publishing and Three Keys Music Publishing. Marcus was responsible for releasing and producing CDs on the Three Keys label for national jazz artists Michael Lington, Jaared Arosemena, Bobby Lyle, Nick Colionne, R&B singer, Alyson Williams and neo-soul songstress Yahzarah and smooth jazz Saxophonists Phillip Martin and Brian Lenair.
While producing music for the aforementioned artists, Marcus also released several critically acclaimed albums: Inter Alia, Chocolate City Groovin’; Coming Back Around; Urban Groove, In Person: Live at Blues Alley, Just Doing What I Do, Smooth Jazz Christmas and In Concert for a Cause, all charting at Top 20 or more on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts.
Marcus has released 15 Billboard-charted CDs. He has the distinction of having his groundbreaking 2008 Billboard Top 20 Contemporary Jazz FLO (For the Love Of) CDs which consisted of three distinct albums:¬ FLO Chill, FLO Romance and FLO Standards, all charting Top 10 on Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts simultaneously. Johnson’s previous solo 2007 release, The Phoenix, was widely lauded by jazz critics and aficionados alike and like Johnson’s previous CDs, it peaked in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts.
Johnson’s next Top 20 Contemporary jazz releases, the unique and multi-faceted Poetically Justified (2009) and This Is How I Rock (2011) solidified Marcus Johnson as heir apparent to the George Duke and Herbie Hancock style of funky urban groove music. Creatively, Johnson continues to evolve as an artist. With the release of his 2012 FLO: Holiday CD and the ongoing collaboration with famed Parisian Producer DJ Pulse – as the musical duo “JURIS” – he has managed to maintain his traditional jazz roots, while also remaining on the forefront of the expanding “Euro Jazz” movement. His music continues to enforce and define his musical legacy as a “jazz movement for all people”.
Johnson is also evolving as an innovative wine expert. He resides in the Metropolitan Washington area and is a new father. His daughter Chase was born on September 12, 2012. Marcus is currently featured weekly on Fox News and is involved with community and charity events, including service on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club. His dynamic career also includes teaching. He served on the faculty of Georgetown University Center For Professional Development in 2007, and taught at Bowie State University from 2008 through 2010, adjunct business development.
Join us at BLU Jazz+ as we welcome this sensational contemporary jazz artist back to BLU for one night only – get your tickets today!
$25 (advance), $30 (door)
|BLU Jazz+ was named one of the "Best Jazz Venues in the World" by DownBeat Magazine (2016, 2017, 2018)|
|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.|