*WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: Dick Johnson Accepting NEA Jazz Master Award On Behalf Of Artie Shaw
CNN iReport http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1197948
Note from Jon Hammond: I filmed Dick Johnson (clarinetist) accepting Artie Shaw’s NEA Jazz Masters Award (handed to him by David Baker) some years ago. Artie personally chose Dick to lead his band, Dick Johnson was one of the greatest musicians of all times in his own right. I had the honor and pleasure of playing together with him on several occasions myself on Lou Colombo’s Band at the Wychmere Harbor Club in Cape Cod – he was just totally unbelievable, a force of Nature is the only way to describe his masterful playing – RIP Dick Johnson, sincerely, Jon Hammond organist from Local 802 Musicians Union — The late great Clarinetist / Saxophonist long-time Band Leader for Artie Shaw Band Dick Johnson accepting the NEA Jazz Master Award on behalf of Artie – film forthcoming of event folks, RIP Dick Johnson – Jon Hammond
*excerpt from Condolence (Guestbook): “Jon to Johnson Family: Sending my deepest condolences on the passing of Dick, I had the great pleasure and honor of playing with Dick & Lou Colombo at the Wychmere Harbor Club in Harwichport MA 1978-’80
(Hammond organ) with Jack Pena & Frank Shea. I last spoke with Dick in 2005 at the IAJE when he accepted the NEA Jazz Master Award for Artie posthumously from David Baker, I filmed it for my cable TV Show. So very sorry for your loss, Dick was one of the greatest musicians I ever played with and a really great guy! Sincerely, Jon Hammond *Member AFM Local 802″
Dick Johnson (December 1, 1925 – January 10, 2010) was an American big band clarinetist, best known for his work with the Artie Shaw Band. From 1983 until his death he was the leader of the Artie Shaw Orchestra.
Born Richard Brown Johnson in Brockton, Massachusetts, he also played the alto saxophone and flute. Johnson worked with Frank Sinatra, the Swing Shift Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie and Tony Bennett.
Johnson died in Boston, Massachusetts after a short illness, aged 84.
1956: Music for Swinging Moderns (EmArcy Records)
1957: Most Likely (Riverside Records) with Dave McKenna, Wilbur Ware, Philly Joe Jones 
1957: At Newport (Verve) with Eddie Costa
1979: Dick Johnson Plays Alto Sax & Flute & Soprano Sax & Clarinet (Concord Records) with Dave McKenna, Bob Maize, Jake Hanna
1980: Spider’s Blues (Concord) with Dave McKenna
1981: Swing Shift (Concord)
2004: Artie’s Choice! And the Naturals
2006: Star Dust & Beyond: A Tribute to Artie Shaw
Jazz Clarinetist Dick Johnson Dies at 84
Boston-based player fronted Artie Shaw band for over 20 years
By Lee Mergner
Dick Johnson, perhaps best known for his long stint as frontman for the Artie Shaw Orchestra, died in the Boston area on Sunday, January 10. Johnson died at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston after a brief illness, according to the Conley Funeral Home. He was 84 years old.
Johnson was born December 1, 1925 and grew up in the Brockton, Mass area as part of a musical family. He got his professional start as a musician during a stint with the U.S. Navy in 1944-1946. Johnson served with the navy band on the USS Pasadena during WWII. He often credited his stint in the Navy for kicking off his career in jazz.
After the war, Johnson toured with the big bands of Charlie Spivak and Buddy Morrow. Eventually, after several years on the road, he settled in his hometown of Brockton, Mass. It was there in Brockton where he and close friend, Lou Colombo formed a jazz sextet. The group lasted 10 years, but the friendship and musical kinship lasted for the rest of his life. In addition, Johnson formed his septet—Swing Shift—which was a staple on the Boston music scene for many years. Like Herb Pomeroy, Johnson managed a double career as a perfomer and an educator, teaching jazz at nearby Berklee, where he mentored many younger jazz musicians.
According to the notes on Johnson’s album Artie’s Choice, in 1980, Artie Shaw sent a message to Dick Johnson’s manager, and said: “You wanted to hear what I think of Dick Johnson’s clarinet playing. Okay. At this time, he’s the best I’ve ever heard. Bar nobody. And you can quote me on that, anywhere, anytime!”
Shortly thereafter in 1983 he joined the Artie Shaw Orchestra as its frontman, with Shaw himself retired at least as a clarinetist. Shaw continued to appear with the group and let Johnson act as his surrogate for the next 20 years. Idiosyncratic until the end, Shaw permitted few recordings by the group, but Johnson’s reputation as a clarinetist grew from its live performances. The group disbanded in 2006 a few years shortly after Shaw’s death.
Over the years Johnson performed with Dave McKenna, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Buddy Rich. He recorded as a both a leader and a sideman on the Mercury, Emarcy, Riverside, and Concord Jazz labels. His latest CD was Star Dust and Beyond: A Tribute to Artie Shaw for the Crazy Scott label in 2006.
Johnson was an important part of the local Boston jazz and music community. In 1999, Brockton declared May 1 to be “Dick Johnson Day.” Johnson spent the day meeting students and later performed with school band members at Brockton High.
Johnson is survived by family members including his wife of 59 years, Rose Johnson of Brockton, his son, Gary Johnson, and his daughter, Pamela Sargent, wife of noted jazz guitarist Gray Sargent.
Visiting hours will be held Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Conley Funeral Home, 138 Belmont St., Brockton. A remembrance service will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. at the funeral home.
“I had the pleasure of seeing Dick many times over the past 38 years,
> including his appearances with Dave McKenna at the Columns in West Dennis on
> Cape Cod in 1971, and on several occasions with the little big band known as
> Dick Johnson’s Swing Shift. Dick co-led a great quintet with Herb Pomeroy
> that featured Alan Dawson at the Eden Gardens in Worcester in 1975. The
> last concert I saw him play was with Jack Senier’s All-Stars on a Sunday
> afternoon in June 2007 at the 1794 Meetinghouse in New Salem, Mass, a
> stone’s throw from the Quabbin Reservoir. Dick played alto for the better
> part of the afternoon, but most memorable was his performance on clarinet of
> “Memories of You.” He was 81 by then, but as charismatic as ever.
> On a winter’s night a year or two earlier, my wife Meg and I saw Dick with
> trumpeter Lou Colombo in the tiny cocktail lounge adjacent to the foyer of
> an inn in Chatham, Mass. There again he was playing alto, but I noticed his
> clarinet by his side and requested he play it. To an SRO crowd of about
> eight people, Dick treated us to “After You’ve Gone,” the tempo increasing
> on each successive chorus till one could almost hear Artie Shaw and BG and
> Bird stirring in approval. Truly unforgettable.
> Dick was at the 2005 IAJE convention in Long Beach to accept the NEA Jazz
> Masters Award in honor of Artie Shaw, who’d died a couple of weeks earlier.
> In his telltale Brockton accent, he spoke of Shaw’s inspiring and exacting
> musical standards. Dick later played a solo clarinet piece at Artie’s
> memorial service, and dropped me a note afterwards in which he wrote, “It
> was by far the biggest honor I’ve ever received to play solo clarinet for
> the man who’d been a hero of mine since I was 14 years old. I flew back
> home sad and jubilant at the same time.”
> Somehow it seems appropriate that the last time I saw Dick was at Dave
> McKenna’s memorial service in Woonsocket, R.I. thirteen months ago. Alas,
> Dick Johnson has passed on too. Dick leaves his son Gary, a fine drummer
> who shared the bandstand with his father for many years, and his son-in-law
> Gray Sargent, the guitarist who’s been touring with Tony Bennett for a
> decade and who recorded a beautiful duo concert with Dave McKenna at Maybeck
> Recital Hall for Concord Jazz in 1995.” — at National Endowment for the Arts.
Jon Hammond Band Facebook https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=955829834445814
Jon Hammond Band Facebook https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=940444542651010
Jon Hammond’s composition “Get Back in The Groove” very special performance Jon Hammond Band in Jazzkeller Frankfurt Jon’s annual musikmesse Warm Up Party with many close friends in attendance – Tony Lakatos on tenor saxophone, Joe Berger guitar, Giovanni Totò Gulino drums, special guest Lee Oskar harmonica, Jon Hammond organ / bass
Special thanks Pmauriat Albest PMauriat Saxophones, TecAmp TecAmp – Bass Player’s Gear — with Joe Berger, Tony Lakatos, Jon Hammond, Lee Oskar, Giovanni Totò Gulino, Pmauriat Albest, P.Mauriat Saxophones and Lee Oskar at Jazzkeller.
CNN iReport http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1190341
Jon Hammond visit with his piano teacher Tony Germain:
“So good to see my piano teacher main man Tony Germain 40 years later from the first day we met on Scheduling Day 1973, looking good Tony! Greatest piano and Hammond organ teacher folks!
Tony taught so many players well and created the organ department (long story!) Chairing the PIano Department, (he has a nice chair in his office and superb Steinway Grand Piano) – if you are lucky enough to be a student at Berklee and get to study with Tony Germain, then you are living under the lucky star – Tony is the Man!! Thanks for everything you showed me Tony, straightened me out big time” – Jon Hammond
*Return of the Student –
Here I am with my Piano Teacher main man Tony Germain 40 years to the day later from the first time we sat down together folks – interview coming soon, many thanks Tony! Jon Hammond
Position: Assistant Chair
“I think I might have been one of Berklee’s first graduates with what today is called the performance major in piano. So as assistant chair, I have a vested interest in making sure we’re still preparing piano, keyboard, and organ students, without being in any way style prejudiced. I also took the position to have a little bit more involvement with the curriculum—to see what I could personally add or help create.”
“When I went to Berklee, Ted Pease, Phil Wilson, and Mike Rendish were my role models and my teachers. They set the standard for what I’d become and how I would teach. They were all very good to me, and I could see how much they loved it. Here at Berklee, I’m giving back to something that has given me everything. I often describe Berklee as a musical Fantasy Island. I just don’t know where else I’d be happy.”
“Prior to becoming assistant chair of the Piano Department, I taught pretty much everything across the board for 33 years: harmony, ear training, arranging, ensembles. I created the Harmonic Ear Training course and taught it from about 1978 until I became assistant chair. I’m equally in love with private and classroom teaching, and have done it all my adult life. I probably get more out of it than my students do. But hopefully I inspire students to further their interests in whichever style of performance they desire—it’s my job to prepare them for the long haul. I still teach Survey of Piano Styles: History of Jazz Piano. I didn’t want to give it up. And I didn’t want to not teach entirely, because you lose touch if you’re out of the classroom.”
B.M., Berklee College of Music
Performances with Judy Garland, Herb Pomeroy, Joe Hunt, and Dick Johnson
Musical director, Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well, Charles Playhouse
Pianist and keyboardist with jazz and commercial groups
Recordings include Forces with Jerry Tachoir; Risa’s Waltz with Danny Harrington; Until Further Notice with Steve Rochinski; Sasha Sings Dinah, A Tribute to the Queen, Dinah Washington with Sasha Daltonn; Happy Talk with Christine Fawson; At Last with Kimberly Keating; Read Between the Lines with Jan Shapiro; Live at the Firehouse with Danny Harrington; The Berklee Great American Songbook series; and for Acuff-Rose, Nashville
Published articles in Keyboard and Berklee Today magazines
Professional performing and recording artist
Television and radio experience, including Community Auditions/ Dave Maynard Talent Showcase, WBZ, Channel 4, Boston; Jack Harris Show, Detroit; Nick Clooney Show, Cincinnati; Music America, WGBH Radio, Boston; and Grand Ole Opry, Nashville
Performer and clinician, Berklee on the Road programs in Umbria, Puerto Rico, and Los Angeles
Assistant Chair — at Berklee College of Music
— at Berklee College of Music
Eimsbüttel – Hamburg — Auster Blues and Jazz in Auster Bar, special evening Jon Hammond Band with NDR Horns swinging the house with spirited solos all around: Fiete Felsch alto saxophone, Michael Leuschner trumpet, Lutz Büchner tenor saxophone, Joe Berger guitar, Jon Hammond organ and Heinz Lichius the drummer – special thanks to Nicolai Ditsch for operating the camera (also a fine drummer) and all the Hamburg people who came to this party session, Auster Bar Team Frank Blume & Torsten Wendt – support from Musik Rotthoff, Joe Berger is playing Futhark Guitars, Jon Hammond the Sk1 Hammond manufactured by Suzuki Musical Instruments http://www.HammondCast.com
CNN iReport http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1167435
Jon Hammond Band Facebook https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=893232684038863
Jon Hammond Band L to R: Joe Berger, Michael Leuschner, Heinz Lichius, Lutz Büchner, Jon Hammond, Fiete Felsch
Jon Hammond Band + NDR Horns at Auster Bar Hamburg Eimsbüttel
Funky Jazz and Blues
Youtubes of every song we played in Auster Bar Hamburg going backwards Jon Hammond Band
Youtubes of every song we played in Auster Bar Hamburg going backwards Jon Hammond Band http://youtu.be/BqtFWKBeC0c “Cooking at The Auster Bar” http://youtu.be/9P8yZiXgWfI “Tribute to Cannonball – Mercy Mercy Mercy” http://youtu.be/MdQi8mAslzE “Tribute to Bobby Timmons – Moanin’ / Blues” http://youtu.be/jtAaQLH_BYk “Late Rent – Them Song” http://youtu.be/orpLWd66-Hw “No X-Cess Baggage Blues” http://youtu.be/LFhxrDs6PbQ “Lydia’s Tune – Bossa Nova” http://youtu.be/MxpIJesOJXQ “Pocket Funk” http://youtu.be/q4_lNnwzxrU “Auster Blues and Jazz *WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: Cooking at The Auster Bar Jon Hammond Band With NDR Horns – Full High Definition
Funky Heinz Lichius drums, Michael Leuschner trumpet, Lutz Büchner tenor, Friedrich Fiete Felsch alto, Joe Berger guitar, Jon Hammond organ + bass — at Auster Bar.
Dick Johnson, Artie Shaw, NEA Jazz Masters, Jazz, Saxophone, Clarinet, Jon Hammond, Hammond Organ, Lou Colombo, Cape Cod, Brockton MA, Big Bands