Fred Johnson is an artist and educator dedicated to the journey of creating spaces that serve to manifest the restoration of our highest expression of our humanity. The fact that he has opened for both Aretha Franklin and Dr. Deepak Chopra points to his versatility as an artist and healer. An acclaimed jazz vocalist, sacred chanter, storyteller, author and arts educator, Fred is a graduate of the National Academy of the Performing Arts as well as the Master Performers School of the National Mime Theater. He studied abstract painting at The National Academy of Art and Design.
Fred has opened for, or recorded and toured worldwide, with jazz and R&B legends including Chick Corea, Sonny Rollins, George Benson, B. B. King, Patti LaBelle, Herbie Mann, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderley and Miles Davis. He is recognized globally for his work in the health and wellness community, as well as for his extensive work in international Interfaith peace and reconciliation. For nine years, Fred served as Deputy Executive Director of Intersections International, a multi-faith, multi-cultural initiative of the Collegiate Church of New York, leading their international outreach, utilizing the arts, meditation and dialogue that specifically addressed challenges in communities around the issues of bias, exclusion and cultural conflict. Since the mid-1980s, he has worked in communities throughout the world, empowering children and adults in creative ways to celebrate the richness of who they are, and to dream big.
Fred’s presentations on the healing power of music have caught the attention of internationally recognized holistic health practitioners and the medical community. He is a leading voice in the national conversation regarding Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access and chairs committees for the International Transformational Leadership Council, the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida, and The Stella Adler Center for the Arts in both New York and Los Angeles.
Mentored by spiritual masters of the African oral and percussion legacy, Fred is hailed as one of the true guardians of an oral tradition transplanted and nurtured to create a fusion of cultural heritage that is uniquely American and inherently African. His global presentations of “Jazz: Its Roots and Branches” have served to inform and inspire audiences around the world to recognize and celebrate a global tapestry sewn from the artistic richness of Africa. Fred currently serves as Artist in Residence and Community Engagement Specialist at The Straz Center where he additionally coordinates their Arts and Health programming.
September 21 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Let Freedom Ring! Music and Voices of the March for Civil Rights, Then and Now