Ed Johnson

Ed Johnson

Musicians | Instrument: Guitar and vocals | Location: San Francisco

Updated: May 2, 2024

Born: February 6, 1950

Classical. Brazilian. R&B. Jazz. Afro-Cuban. Popular Rock and Roll. ED JOHNSON’s mastery of so many different styles, coupled with a passion for harmony vocal and horn arrangements, all factor into a magical blend of vibrant, original contemporary jazz that is winning fans and airplay worldwide.

As a vocalist, Ed Johnson is frequently compared to Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Kenny Rankin, and Michael Franks. As a guitarist and bandleader, critics often cite the lushly exotic, accessible sounds of Airto and Flora Purim. Ed has seven recording projects to his credit, in addition to producer’s credits for other singer/songwriters. View Ed’s electronic press kit.

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Ed frequently tours with his Brazilian-flavored band NOVO TEMPO and with Americana band CABIN FEVER NORTHWEST.

As a teacher, Ed has given private and group lessons in both guitar and voice at highly reknowned Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto CA for over 40 years, making it the longest anyone has been on Gryphon’s private lesson staff. With his many years of experience, he provides a knowledge of all aspects of guitar and vocal techniques that few can match, plus an affinity for teaching students at any level of ability. 

Ed composes original songs with a strong Brazilian and Latin undercurrent. His original music is evocative of Brazilian pop, but unlike anything you’ve heard before.

In addition to composing, Ed is a highly sought-after arranger with a library of vocal arrangements in a wide variety of styles, including jazz, gospel, R&B, Americana, world music, and unique interpretations of holiday favorites. Ed’s original arrangements can be purchased, and he is also available to create custom arrangements.




All About Jazz Articles

Album Review

Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo: The Other Road

Read "The Other Road" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

It has been three years since Movimento (Cumulus, 2004), the last album from singer/guitarist Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo, and the wait has been worth it. The Other Road , from this San Francisco Bay Area ensemble, evokes vivid memories of Brazilian samba and bossa nova music before the Tropicalia Movement introduced rock music into the menu of the first wave of bossa singer/songwriters in the early 1970s. At the same time, despite numerous re-awakenings of acoustic samba music, where ...

Album Review

Ed Johnson: Over That Wave

Read "Over That Wave" reviewed by Dave Nathan

Palo Alto resident, Ed Johnson, brings his nylon stringed acoustic guitar and his highly attuned vocal and writing skills to his 6th CD release providing more than 50 minutes of Singer/Songwriter offerings. Like many of his contemporaries, Johnson seeks to attract another generation of listeners with music that blurs the line between jazz and pop as he delivers a program of 10 tunes in very stylized vocals. Johnson sings in a reflective, gentle but earnest manner - - earnest is ...

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Performance / Tour

Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo Thursday, September 27, 7PM Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo Thursday, September 27, 7PM Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 7pm Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo Kuumbwa Jazz Center 320-2 Cedar Street, Santa Cruz, CA (831) 427-2227 Concert only: $10/Adv $13/Door Jazz & Dinner: $21.50/Adv Doors & dinner beginning at: 6:00pm Featuring Caf Kuumbwa Chef Cheryl Simons

Band Line Up Ed Johnson - guitar, vocals Jennifer Scott - piano, vocals John Worley - trumpet, flugelhorn ...


“…Ed Johnson composes some of the finest Brazilian music in the world from his home base in Northern California. It just goes to show that the world-wide reach of the bossa nova style popularized by Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto and Baden Powell has never lessened and infiltrates all corners of the globe. The joyful and romantic strains of bossa nova and samba are what Johnson co-opts so well with his Novo Tempo octet. (He) possesses the Milton Nascimento/Ivan Lins sweet falsetto, which he showcases on original tunes like “Song For My Daughter,” “Behind The Fire,” and “Katrina,” as well as on those mixing English and Portuguese, including “Shipwrecked (Naufragado)” and “Chorar.” But Johnson’s real strength comes with his vocalese–no traslation needed–especially when working in tandem with pianist Jennifer Scott on “Samba 2 Tom” and “Clean Up.” Although Johnson of course works the nylon string with lyrical ease, Scott Sorkin’s plugged-in accompaniment and Scott’s piano solo give tunes like “The Other Road” a delightful Metheny-esque touch. ” from JazzTimes review of The Other Road

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