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Marcus Johnson - 11/27/17
at City Winery Chicago
- 6:00 PM
- 8:00 PM
As an independent Billboard-ranked musician, producer, owner of a music label, Three Keys Music, and NAACP Image Aware nominee, International Jazz Keyboardist/Pianist Marcus Johnson has emerged as one of the young lions of the music world. Johnson’s unique self-taught style of piano play has earned him distinction among his peers, praise within the media and accolades across the music industry. And now, he continues his quest for success in the business world with his lifestyle branding company, FLO Brands, LLC. ™
Johnson’s testament to his perseverance began in 1995 when he was pursuing both his MBA and Juris Doctorate degrees at Georgetown University, and decided to independently produce and distribute his first jazz album, Lessons in Love, which sold more than 40,000 units; a phenomenal success for an unknown independent artist’s debut release. This album helped him launch his career as a renowned jazz keyboardist/pianist. One year later, he released Inter Alia, with staggering success in the Kemp Mill retail chain, outselling the Titanic soundtrack in the first two weeks of its release. The success and attention that it brought led Johnson to sign a deal with N2K Encoded Music where he released several CDS until the label was sold in 1998.
Johnson’s success caught the attention of Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and businessman Robert L. Johnson who invested in Marcus and his new found company, Marimelj Entertainment Group. Under their partnership, MEG’s label, Three Keys Music based in the Washington, DC metro area, established its own full service recording studio, Studio 8121; and two music publishing companies, Marimelj Music Publishing and Three Keys Music Publishing. Johnson was also responsible for releasing and producing CDs on the Three Keys label for national jazz artists Michael Lington, Jaared Arosemena, Bobby Lyle, Nick Colionne, R&B singer, Alyson Williams and neo-soul songstress Zahzarah and smooth jazz Saxophonists Phillip Martin and Brian Lenair.
Johnson spent several years heading the label and producing music on the aforementioned artists and over the next ten years, also released several critically acclaimed albums: Inter Alia, Chocolate City Groovin’; Coming Back Around; Urban Groove, In Person: Live at Blues Alley, Just Doing What I Do, Smooth Jazz Christmas and In Concert for a Cause, all charting at Top 20 or more on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts.
Marcus has released more than fifteen (15) Billboard charted CDs, and has the distinction of having his groundbreaking 2008 Billboard Top 20 Contemporary Jazz FLO (For the Love Of) CDs which consisted of three distinct albums -- FLO Chill, FLO Romance and FLO Standards , all charting Top 10 on Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts simultaneously. Johnson’s previous solo 2007 release, The Phoenix, was widely lauded by jazz critics and aficionados alike and like Johnsons previous CDs, it peaked in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts.
It should also be mentioned that Johnson’s next Top 20 Contemporary jazz releases, the unique and multi-faceted Poetically Justified ( 2009) and This Is How I Rock (2011) solidified Marcus Johnson as heir apparent to the George Duke and Herbie Hancock style of funky urban groove music. Creatively, Johnson continues to evolve as an artist. With the recent release of his FLO: Holiday CD and the ongoing collaboration with famed Parisian Producer DJ Pulse – as the musical duo “Juris” – he has managed to maintain his traditional jazz roots, while also remaining on the forefront of the expanding “Euro Jazz” movement. His music continues to enforce and define his musical legacy as a “jazz movement for all people”.
Now, with firm footing in the ever-expanding music world, Johnson has moved on to grow his lifestyle branding company, FLO Brands, LLC,tm aptly titled For the Love Of ; at its core, FLO began as a musical publishing and lifestyle branding company to house all of Johnson’s musical and entrepreneurial ventures. The scope and reach of the company has expanded and FLO Brands launched FLO Wines, LLC in the first quarter of 2012 with overwhelming success. Joined at the helm by President/Co-Founder, Robert Piziali and Sean Johnson, COO and Chief Financial Officer, and the financial support of The Wentworth Group, Marcus Johnson’s FLO Wines has captured the taste buds of wine lovers from California to South Carolina. A masterful marketing plan ignited by Marcus Johnson’s “Sips & Sounds” performances has married music and wine For the Love Of concept.
Marcus Johnson is a Billboard ranked, NAACP Image Award nominated jazz keyboardist and pianist. He is CEO and Founder of Flo Brands, LLC and Flo Wines, LLC. He is a new dad, daughter Chase was born September 12, 2012 and his world is beyond music, his dreams far-expanding and his conviction beyond belief. He is the embodiment of the renaissance man of the new millennium and his desire to succeed as an entrepreneur is definitive. He is young, brilliant and confident… and believes in the joy of people… giving them what they want from him… For the love of life, self, happiness, passion and joy -- Flo Music and Flo Wines… a renaissance statement!