Jeff W. Johnson is extremely active as a performer, author, educator, and clinician. He has an extensive musical background, having studied classical percussion under Robert Nowak, drumset with Steve Fidyk, and hand technique with the legendary Joe Morello. His formal education includes Wilkes University, Capital University Conservatory of Music, and Drummers Collective, NYC.
Jeff has extensive performing experience. He has toured with the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, performing in concert halls and jazz festivals throughout the United States. He served as the house drummer for Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, for over 10 years. He also performed at special events in Williamsburg and Las Vegas for Busch Entertainment Corporation. He has worked for Carnival Cruise Lines as a show band drummer, performing on the MS Fantasy and MS Fascination. At Carnival, Jeff played Broadway- and Vegas-style shows and backed various singers, comedians, and variety acts. He also performed with the Washington, DC–based jazz big band, Swing Machine. With that ensemble, he backed notable artists such as trumpet legend Wayne Bergeron, America’s Got Talent winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., and the lead vocalists from the Temptations, Drifters, and Platters. He recorded Swing Machine’s first CD, Mid-Life Crisis. Jeff also played on albums by vocalist Jason Paul Curtis.
Jeff Johnson officially endorses Vic Firth sticks, mallets, and accessories. He is also an endorser for Sabian cymbals.
Jeff is the author of The Level System (Alfred Publishing). The book was runner-up in Drum! magazine’s Drummies Awards for Best Drum Book of the Year. He has also written technique articles for Modern Drummer magazine. Jeff reviews drum books for the Percussive Notes journal as well as Rhythm! Scene magazine. His newest book, Note Groupings and Combinations for Drumset is scheduled for publication in June 2023.
Jeff is very active in education, being a member of the Vic Firth Private Drum Teachers Program, Sabian Education Network, and the Percussive Arts Society. In his teaching practice, Johnson Drum Instruction, Jeff instructs both in-person students from Richmond, Virginia, and online students worldwide. Dom Famularo and Modern Drummer recognized Jeff on a list of drum teachers from around the world who offer “top-notch instruction”.
Jeff has conducted clinics and workshops in public and private schools. He was also on faculty at various jazz camps, where he instructed students and conducted percussion ensembles. He designed and taught the Introduction to Drumming class for the University of Richmond’s School of Continuing Studies.
Jeff’s teaching centers on reading, technique, coordination, and knowledge of styles. He utilizes traditional teaching methods while also incorporating modern technology. His teaching studio has an abundance of musical software as well as a large selection of CDs and DVDs for supplemental lesson material.
Jeff also specializes in preparing students for auditions. His students have gone on to Capital University Conservatory of Music, Los Angeles Music Academy, Berklee College of Music, University of the Arts, the Armed Forces School of Music, and other prestigious music programs. He also prepares Richmond area school students for marching band, jazz band, district band, and state band auditions.
Jeff accepts drum students of all ages and levels – from beginner to advanced. Whether you are just learning to play drums or are an advanced drummer looking to take your playing to the next level, Johnson Drum Instruction in Richmond, VA has the knowledge and expertise to help you fulfill your goals. Contact Jeff to schedule a trial lesson!