Todd Johnson is recognized as a pioneer of the six-string electric bass. With his Zon signature model six-string bass, Todd has developed an innovative technique where he plays chord changes and bass lines simultaneously, plus his ability to play "chord melody" gives him an uniquely rich and fuller sound that proves extremely useful in both solo and small combo work.
In his CD review, Cliff Engle of www.bassically.net notes that "Johnson's sophisticated chord melodies are unrivaled amongst his contemporaries. He has demonstrated that his innovative bass playing style is anything but traditional. His guitar-like chordal accompaniment style is reminiscent to that of the legendary jazz guitarists including Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, and Ron Eschete. Johnson's guitar-like performance is so convincing that as a listener, if you were not made aware that Johnson was not a jazz guitarist, you would never be able to decipher the difference."
Todd has been an integral member of the critically acclaimed jazz trio of guitarist Ron Eschete since 1991. Then in 2004, Johnson also joined forces with acclaimed bassist and singer Kristin Korb to form The Kristin Korb/Todd Johnson Trio. Johnson has also performed and/or recorded with other such artists as, Mike Stern, Poncho Sanchez, Frank Potenza, Dave Weckl, Scott Henderson, Plas Johnson, Lew Tabackin, Jack Sheldon, Rufus Reid, Mundell Lowe, Michael Manring, Paul Humphrey, and Frank Gambale.
Though Johnson dedicates himself largely to performing and recording, he also teaches courses and workshops in a variety of settings. Since 1991 Johnson has served as a faculty member at such notable schools as Musicians Institute (BIT) 1991-1999, California Institute of the Arts 1998-2004, College of the Canyons 1999-2004 and The Master's College 2002 - present.
Todd is also "in demand" as a clinician having performed clinics, master classes and residencies in such places as University of North Texas, Berklee Conservatory, New Hampshire Bass Fest, Cornish Institute, South Western Baptist Theological Seminary, BassQuake, Pasadena Bass Day, Mile High Bass Camp, Tokyo High End Bass Show, L.A. Music Academy, The Jazz School, U of Oregon, Spokane Falls C.C, Eastern Washington University, International Society of Bassists Convention, University of Arizona, Olympic College, Academy of Contemporary Music (London), Basscool (Lille, France).
In 2005 Todd released his first instruction DVD "Walking Bass Line Module System - Volume 1 Triad Modules". In 2006 Todd released "Technique Builders" and "Walking Bass Line Module System - Volume 2 Scale Modules. Todd's DVD's have done so well that he recently signed a publishing deal with Alfred Publishing and will have his DVD's and books distributed worldwide beginning in October 2008. Look for "Walking Bass Line Module System - Volume 3 to come out in 2009. Todd will also be releasing a book and DVD set of his "chord melody" method with master teacher Jim Stinnett in the spring of 2009 entitled "Fishin' for Grips".
As a seasoned performing artist, Todd Johnson has developed a rich philosophy encompassing his spiritual, educational and achievement-oriented sides. Johnson sees his talent as a "gift from God" to continually enhance and develop. A unique musician with a unique instrument, Johnson strives to stretch the limits, creating new sounds and directions in which the electric bass can go.
"Todd Johnson has found the freedom of extra strings, and as such has developed a distinctive solo voice on his instrument..." writes Jim Fisch. Time and again, Johnson is acknowledged as unique, creative and innovative in his musical talents. He brings more than mastery to the electric bass; Todd Johnson brings a new vision of the instrument that greatly expands its musical horizon.
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