Henry Johnson (guitarist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people named Henry Johnson, see Henry Johnson (disambiguation).

Henry Johnson (born January 28, 1954, Chicago, Illinois) is an American jazz guitarist.


Johnson began playing guitar when he was 12 years old. While spending some formative time in Memphis, he started playing gospel music at the age of 13. By the time he was 14, Johnson was playing in R&B groups. Although his parents brought him up hearing the music of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Joe Williams, and other artists of that era, it was not until 1967 that Johnson was formally introduced to jazz by hearing guitarist Wes Montgomery. In 1969, Johnson and his family moved back to Chicago, where he developed a reputation as a local jazz guitarist. In 1976, he went on the road with jazz organist Jack McDuff and the next year worked with vocalist Donny Hathaway.

In 1979, Johnson began playing with jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis.[1] In 1985, singer Joe Williams added Johnson to his regular group. Johnson's musical roots run deep into gospel, blues, and jazz. His strongest and earliest influences were Kenny Burrell, George Benson, and Wes Montgomery. Johnson also cites Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Freddie Hubbard, and Miles Davis.

His first album, You're the One, reached No. 1 on the Radio & Records NAC chart and Contemporary Jazz chart for two months. It received five stars from Down Beat magazine and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

Johnson has recorded with Vanessa Rubin and Richie Cole. He has performed with Nancy Wilson, Marlena Shaw, Angela Bofill, Dizzy Gillespie, the Boston Pops, Sonny Stitt, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington Jr., Stanley Turrentine, Billy Taylor, Jimmy Smith, James Moody, David "Fathead" Newman, Terry Gibbs, Bobby Watson, Nicholas Payton, Javon Jackson, and Donald Harrison.


  • 1986 You're the One (MCA)
  • 1987 Future Excursions (MCA)
  • 1990 Never Too Much (MCA)
  • 1993 Missing You (INAK)
  • 1993 New Beginnings (In-Akustik)
  • 1995 The Union County Flash! (Trix)
  • 2000 An Evening At Sea (Chiaroscuro)
  • 2003 Organic (A440)


  1. ^ Yanow, Scott. "Henry Johnson: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 

External links[edit]