Seth L. Johnson is an extremely versatile and highly skilled guitarist and composer based in New York City. He has played, studied and/ or composed in diverse genres including: Jazz, Western Classical, Chinese Classical, Afro-Cuban, Afro-Peruvian, Brazillian styles, music for Khattak dance, Punk Rock, Country Western, Ska, Reggae, Funk, R&B, and free improvised music. Equally at home playing Jazz, Country, Funk, Bosa Nova or whatever the moment calls for, Johnson can be seen performing at many of New York’s diverse and historic clubs including The Blue Note, The Bitter End, The Garage, Minton’s Playhouse, Sweet Rhythm, Jules Cafe, Club Groove, Shrine, Fat Cat, and Smoke. Johnson has also performed at clubs, colleges, theaters and performing arts centers across the United States and abroad.
Seth grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and began playing and experimenting with the guitar at age 10. Largely self-taught, Johnson developed a unique approach to music and the instrument prior to receiving formal training. Inspired by his first teacher, Cleveland blues guitarist John Christopherson, Johnson delved deeply into the blues and finger-style guitar. While exploring the outskirts of the guitar’s sound and timbre, the blues has always remained at the core of his music.
While earning his Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance from San Francisco State University, Johnson had the opportunity study classical guitar with Saul Gropman, country fingerstyle guitar with Jim Nichols and Jazz guitar with Anthony Michael Peterson, Mimi Fox, Bruce Foreman, and Calvin Keys . Ho also had the honor to play with outstanding Bay Area musicians such as John Calloway, Andrew Speight, Hafez Modir, Bill Lowe, Howard Wiley, Dana Stevens, Miko Marks, Ambrose Akinmousire, and The Park, among many others.
Johnson received his Master's degree at Mason Gross School of the Arts under the tutelage of Vic Juris. Since moving to New York he has been blessed to have the opportunity to perform and/ or record with Ed Simon, Frank Sinatra Jr., Eddie Palmieri, Lee Hogans, Sean Jones, Jerome Jennings, Jonathan Blake, Rudy Royston, J.D. Allen, Mark Chung, Donald Malloy, Brianne Michelle and countless other fine musicians and artists.
Seth Johnson is a dedicated and passionate educator and has taught master classes/ clinics at Sam Ash (Edison, NJ), Day Jams Music Camp (Palo Alto CA), and Stanford Jazz Workshop (Palo Alto CA). He currently has over thirty students between teaching private lessons at students’ homes in New York and teaching at Rutgers University and Rainone’s School of Music.