Marcus Johnson (jazz musician)

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Marcus Johnson is an American jazz musician, producer, and entrepreneur. He is the director of For the Love Of Brands, a company that houses both a music and a wine label.[1] He is the CEO/President of Marimelj Entertainment Group, Three Keys Music, and Three Keys Publishing. He is also the CEO/Founder of both FLO Brands, LLC, and FLO Wines, LLC.

Early life[edit]

Marcus Johnson was born in Columbus, Ohio. He and his family moved to Washington, D.C. when he was 12 years old. He grew up listening to a wide variety of music but found his calling in jazz, where he incorporates the rhythms of rap with R&B. His interest in jazz first showed itself when he began “tinkling the keys at age 13 (his step-father won Maryland's "Pick-3 Lottery" and used the winnings to buy Johnson's first keyboard) and he found himself studying both traditional and contemporary jazz musicians (Joe Sample and Thelonious Monk are two names he frequently cites)”.[2]

At age ten, he established a neighborhood lawn care service. As a teenager, he started an auto-detailing company.[3] He "played in a jazz band at Montgomery Blair High School".[4] Although he attended University of Miami at one point (learning about music production),[4] Johnson earned a bachelor of arts degree in music at Howard University, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Afterwards, at Georgetown University, he earned both an MBA and law degree.[4]

Musical career[edit]

Musician[edit]

When studying at Georgetown University, Johnson independently released his first jazz album, Lessons in Love, which sold more than 40,000 units. In 1997, he released his second jazz album, Inter Alia. These two independent CDs topped the best-seller charts at Tower Records stores in the Washington, D.C. area. His growing reputation attracted the attention of N2K Encoded Music, now known as N-Coded Music, which signed him and released Chocolate City Groovin’.[3]

Music publishing[edit]

Also while studying at Georgetown, Johnson established Marimelj Entertainment Group, Inc., a production company and music publishing firm which churns out a mixture of contemporary jazz, alternative, and R&B to create what the company calls “the Urban Groove.” Johnson’s success with his albums caught the attention of Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and businessman Robert L. Johnson, who invested in Marimelj. Under their partnership, Marimelj’s label, Three Keys Music, established its own full service recording studio, Studio 8121; and two music publishing companies, Marimelj Music Publishing and Three Keys Music Publishing.[5]

Three Keys is an independent music publishing company Johnson created.[6] It was started as a local record label.

Personal life[edit]

Johnson resides in Maryland.[citation needed] He has a daughter.[4]

Awards[edit]

Johnson was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2010.[7]

He was also nominated for Best Urban Contemporary Instrumentalist in the Washington Area Music Association’s WAMMIES in 2013.[4]

He was awarded the Samuel A. Halsey Award from his alma mater, Georgetown University, on January 17th, 2015. [8]

Discography[edit]

  • Lessons in Love (1997)
  • Inter Alia (1997; re-released in 2000)
  • Chocolate City Groovin' (1998)
  • Urban Groove (2000)
  • Comin' Back Around (2001)
  • In Person - Live at Blues Alley (2002)
  • Just Doing What I Do (2004)
  • Smooth Jazz Christmas (2005)
  • Phoenix (2007)
  • In Concert for a Cause (2008)
  • Flo: Chill (2008)
  • Flo: Romance (2008)
  • Flo: Standards (2008)
  • Poetically Justified (2009)
  • This Is How I Rock (2010)
  • Flo Chill, Vol. 2: Juris (2010)
  • Flo (For The Love Of) Holiday (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pinnen, Elena. "Performing Arts: Jazz Wiz Marcus Johnson", Washington Life Magazine, 17 January 2012. Retrieved on 3 March 2013.
  2. ^ Johnson, Zac. "Biography", Allmusic. Retrieved on 3 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Artists: Marcus Johnson", Smooth and Soul, Retrieved on 3 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e Brown, Natasha T. (17 February 2013). "Sophisticated Sunday: Jazz Instrumentalist Marcus Johnson Talks Branding, Business and Keys to Success". Onstage DC. 
  5. ^ "About", Three Keys Music. Retrieved on 3 March 2013.
  6. ^ Three Keys Music. Retrieved on 3 March 2013.
  7. ^ "NOMINEES FOR 41st NAACP IMAGE AWARDS ANNOUNCED LIVE AT PRESS CONFERENCE BY TAYE DIGGS, MICHAEL STRAHAN, WANDA SYKES, KYLE MASSEY, CHRIS MASSEY, TATYANA ALI AND NAACP EXECUTIVES". NAACP. Archived from the original on 25 July 2010. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  8. ^ https://secure.alumni.georgetown.edu/olc/pub/GTW/event/showEventForm.jsp?form_id=184259