Howard Johnson

Man ripping shirt open to a black tshirt with a mixture of jazz instruments showing

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 trumpet. 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 Hank 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.

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