Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson, drums


Gary Johnson, drums

As a drummer, Gary Johnson has been working professionally for over 40 years. He is the son of New England Jazz great, Dick Johnson. For four years, he traveled extensively with the revamped Artie Shaw Orchestra, under the direction of Dick Johnson. During that time, he accompanied such artists as Rosemary Clooney, Buddy DeFranco, and Helen Forrest.

For many years, Gary was the drummer with his father’s band, Swing Shift. He was also a fixture with both Lou Colombo’s group and Ray Santisis Quartet. During his career he has played with such luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Dave McKenna, Scott Hamilton, Greg Abbate, Ruby Braff, and Keely Smith.

His formal training consists of studies with instructor Bill Flanagan, Boston Pops percussionist Fred Buda, and jazz legend Alan Dawson. Gary attended Berklee College of Music from 1972 through 1974. Currently freelancing in the New England area, Gary is also teaching at the Mockingbird School of Music in Easton, MA.