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Tuesday 9/17/2019 Show: Howard Johnson

Photo: Howard Johnson at Winter Jazz Festival 10 @Suga’ Bowl Photography. Used with permission.

Program note: we’re in a new weekly Tuesday night slot from 10-12 midnight!

The next show will air on Tuesday September 17, 2019 from 10:00 PM – 12 Midnight Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This installment of the program will feature tubist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer Howard Johnson.


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’s résumé is extensive and includes recording stints with Crawford (1983-1984), Jack DeJohnette’s Special Edition, Jimmy Heath, John Lennon, Bob Moses, and George Gruntz’s Concert Jazz Band. He performed with The Band during the 1970s, appearing on both “Rock of Ages” and “The Last Waltz,” and his association with Levon Helm extended into the 2000s, during which period he often toured alongside the drummer.

(Bio adapted from Johnson’s website)

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Merkin Hall is hosting a tribute to Johnson on September 18 featuring a performance by his band Gravity.

Web Extras:

Watch Johnson and Gravity take on McCoy Tyner’s standard “Fly With the Wind,” recorded live at New York’s Winter Jazz Fest

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman College in the City University of New York system.



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