BRUCE LESTER JOHNSON
Saturday 14th July 2018 - 9:30 pm
Music Charge: £14.00
London-based African American jazz, soul and blues singer Bruce Lester Johnson was born in Starkville, Mississippi and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. Heavily influenced by his father's love of classic Soul and R&B, music and singing were always a part of Bruce's life. However, he started his career with a 7 year period in the US Marine Corps before ending his enlistment whilst stationed in Paris. Finding himself in a city full of music and nightlife he made the decision to make singing his full time profession and has, as they say, never looked back. He began to showcase his talent in various venues around Paris and it wasn't long before this charismatic, six foot four inch, singer with the effortlessly soulful bass baritone voice was being noticed for his unique sound and style, and his popularity soon began to grow. With his reputation on the rise he branched out and formed his own funk band that was to go on and win the Jack Daniel’s music competition in Bordeaux, judged by the late, great Nina Simone. This gave him the opportunity to record his first single and went a good way to cementing his reputation in Paris. His next move came when he joined the band of legendary blues bassist Big Joe Turner (BB King, Albert King), which gave Bruce a chance to tour the world and at the same time hone his Blues vocal skills. Collaborating with the pianist from that band Bruce produced his first CD "That's The Deal Baby" in 2010 which was a contemporary take on old school blues and soul. Returning to Paris, Bruce continued to work in prestigious venues with established French musicians, before eventually ending up on the French version of "The Voice". It was this appearance that led to his being asked to join one of France's leading "Rat Pack" ensembles, Forever Gentlemen, with whom he has appeared on two CD's, the first, released in October 2013, going triple platinum and the second CD “Forever Gentlemen 2” being released in October 2014 to considerable acclaim. These days a vastly experienced performer with an eclectic style Bruce includes work at numerous prestigious festivals and venues such at the Montreux Jazz festival and the Royal Albert Hall on a wide and impressive CV. And if all that wasn't enough Bruce is also a well-established actor with over 20 film and TV roles to his name. Now resident in London it's with great pleasure that we welcome this fine artist to the Club for his second show this year to perform what Bruce tells us will be a set of "jazz and blues tunes with a touch of bossa nova", which coming from a man who has played Funk for Nina Simone, toured the world as a blues singer and gone triple platinum singing jazz standards makes sense! Accompanied by some of the UK's finest musicians, including Mike Gorman-piano, Neville Malcolm-bass and Matt Skelton-drums along with the magnificent sax of Ed Jones, this promises to be quite a gig. Booking advised.
"His voice puts me in mind of ...great vocalists such as Lou Rawls" Blues Matters; "... up front, with an intoxicating smile seducing you like the Sirens once did Odysseus, is Johnson… There's something you can't quite place your finger on when it comes to this vocalist. He's like an exotic butterfly you've captured and don't know where it comes from or what it will become tomorrow" Athens News