Just Friends Jazz Series
Johnson was invited to become a member of Wynton Marsalis’s Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which he did from 2000 to 2003. He also played as part of the Russell Malone Quartet, the Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet and the Bobby Watson Quartet. After completing his tenure with those groups, he started the Reach Afar program in 2003, catering to the ages of 7–17 and educating them about jazz, classical and hip-hop music.
He has traveled extensively, sharing the gift of jazz to audiences around the world. As a representative of the United States through the U.S. State Department, Johnson was named a U.S. Musical Ambassador. During that time, he did six state-department tours that took him to Central and South America, Africa and the Middle East, affording him the opportunity to perform in more than 76 countries. He has also accompanied such jazz icons as Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Arturo Sandoval.
Johnson is an accomplished composer and arranger with four musical releases as a leader. His latest co-lead project with Gregory Generet, entitled 2 of a Kind, features a stellar jazz ensemble—Freddie Hendrix on trumpet, Jon Beshay on tenor saxophone, Barry Stephenson on bass and Henry Conerway on drums.
Richard Johnson is a Yamaha endorsed piano artist.