Mr. Clarence Johnson
Lecturer of Jazz Saxophone and Jazz Studies
Music Annex A279
Clarence Johnson III ~ Known for his fierce and often sultry saxophone sound and astounding virtuosity, New Orleanean Clarence Johnson III enjoys a successful career as a recording and performing artist, an educator, and also appears in films and television. Currently, Clarence is preparing for the national release of his latest recording, "Watch Him Work", his first release in nearly 15 years. The new original material, which features himself and his latest creation, Cornerstone, can best be described as a fresh take on jazz fusion, which is reminiscent of the compositional styles of Stanley Clarke, George Duke, the Brecker Bros., and the Yellow Jackets.
Most recently, Clarence appeared on both the 2012 recording and PBS Television documentary of Hugh Laurie's (Dr. House) "Let Them Talk," produced by Allen Toussaint. During his time in Atlanta GA. from 2005 to 2009, his career highlights included a stint with Jenifer Holiday and serving on the esteemed music faculties of Morehouse College and Spelman College.
Clarence's film and television credits include various scenes with actor Jamie Fox in the award winning movie, RAY, where he is seen as a member of the Ray Charles Septet and Orchestra. He has also appeared in television commercials for the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation with Emeril Lagasse, Community Coffee, and the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center. (CAC)
Clarence's bands, which have garnered such past descriptions as "Coltranesque Impressionism" and "Sun Ra Futurism", have performed at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, French Quarter Festival, and also headlined the inaugural 1998 Yerevan International Jazz Festival in Armenia. They have also opened shows for Les McChan and Billy Cobham & Culture Mix.
Johnson has appeared on the recordings of such artists as Tori Amos ("Boys for Pele" WEA, 1996), Bruce Hornsby as part of a tribute to Keith Jarret (Long as You're Living Yours" RCA, 2000), and Davell Crawford ("The B-3 and Me" Rounder Records, 1998).
Johnson's resume' also includes past work with the Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Dr. John, members of the Neville Brothers, Allen Toussaint, Jimmy Smith, David "Fathead" Newman, John Scofield, and members of the Meters. Additionally he's performed with orchestras that have backed such international acts as Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, Kirk Franklin, Gladys Knight, the O'Jays, Billy Preston, and Wynton Marsalis.
As an educator, with a Master of Music from the University of New Orleans, and a Bachelor of Music-Jazz Studies from Loyola Univ. (New Orleans), Clarence has taught and conducted various music courses and ensembles at Loyola Univ. and Delgado Community College. Additionally, Johnson has served as a clinician at the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences "Grammy in the Schools." (New Orleans Chapter)