Howard Johnson was an American jazz musician known for his virtuosity on the baritone sax and tuba. Born on August 7, 1941, in Montgomery, Alabama, Johnson grew up in a musical family and began playing the baritone saxophone at a young age.
In the 1960s, Johnson became known for his work with the Charles Mingus Jazz Workshop, where he played both saxophone and tuba. He also played with a number of other jazz legends, including Hank Mobley and Archie Shepp.
Johnson’s unique sound and skill on the tuba made him a sought-after collaborator and session musician. He recorded with a wide range of musicians and bands, including Taj Mahal, Gil Evans, and the Band.
In addition to his work as a performer, Johnson is also an accomplished composer and arranger. He has written for a number of different ensembles, including the tuba quartet Gravity, which he co-founded in 2002.
Throughout his career, Johnson has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to jazz music. He was inducted into the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1995, and in 2014, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Jazz Journalists Association.
Johnson passed away on January 11, 2021 at his home in Ney York City, at the age of 79.
Page last updated 3/26/2023.