Steph Johnson is that rare panoramic talent that catches your attention upon the first note. Her voice is soulful and unique, rich with texture as is her songwriting. She has released 4 CDs, her most recent recording “Music is Art” was produced by two time Grammy award winning producer Kamau Kenyatta (Gregory Porter/Best Jazz Vocalist 2014 + 2016).
Featuring 10 of her original compositions with stellar musical support from trumpeter Curtis Taylor (James Carter, Billy Childs), guitarist Gregory “Gmo” Moore (Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind and Fire), Kamau Kenyatta (Hubert Laws, Donald Byrd), bassist Rob Thorsen, drummer Fernando Gomez and organist Andrej Pivec. The CD has propelled her career to new heights and combines her jazz prowess with her soulful R&B roots. “…her core strength is as a communicator with rhythmic depth and smoky, pliant power…Johnson’s sweet yearning vocal really soars on Music is Art….Highly recommended.” Robert Bush/NBC
In the summer of 2016, musician Steph Johnson co-founded “Voices of our City”, a choir for people experiencing homelessness in San Diego. The choir provides the voiceless with a voice and showcases the human potential and talent living on the streets. The group has been busy with performances and has been featured multiple times on KPBS, NPR, PBS Newshour, the SD Union Tribune and more. A new documentary called The Homeless Chorus Speaks by noted filmmaker Susan Polis Schutz, tells the touching story of the choir and its members.
The film will air nationwide on various PBS stations beginning in March of 2018.
Watch the Trailer
PRESS + REVIEWS
The choir where homeless singers find hope and acceptance
Dec 27, 2016 by Susan Murphy
Steph Johnson Band proves Music Is Art
October 28, 2016 by Robert Bush
Choir gives a voice to
San Diego's homeless
Nov 29, 2016 by Karla Peterson
STEPH JOHNSON: Music Is Art
October 2016 by Paul Hormick
Education + Community
A choir created for people experiencing homelessness in San Diego. Steph Johnson and Nina Deering founded the choir in the summer of 2016 in response to the housing crisis, which has pushed thousands of our most vulnerable citizens to live on the streets. Steph and Nina set out to create a safe place in which choir members could meet every week at Living Water Church in the East Village area of downtown San Diego.
Every Friday, the choir members uplift their voices and sing together, evoking feelings of solidarity, hope and trust. The joy that was born from these choir rehearsal has drawn local and national media attention including NPR and PBS Newshour. Backed with a full band, the choir has performed at the House of Blues, the Music Box, the Birch Aquarium, Bread and Salt and many other popular venues. Their repertoire includes classic gospel, soul, jazz and r&b songs, as well as original songs written by the choir. Visit VoicesofOurCity.org for more info.
Steph Johnson teaches a songwriting workshop that is offered through the Arts for Learning organization, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing music, storytelling and arts education to schools of all economic levels. Her songwriting workshop has been described as "inspiring" by students and teachers. Steph is also a part of a 4 person ensemble that worked together in 2015 to recreate and perform a unique interpretation of the classic, "Peter and the Wolf." Family-oriented fun involving a storyteller, dancer, costumes and music.
If you would like to inquire about booking either the "Find Your Voice" songwriting workshop or a "Peter and the Wolf" performance at your local school, library or community center, please contact Sherrie Brown at Sherrie@ArtsForLearningSD.org for more info or visit www.artsforlearningsd.org .