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Jazz Quorum: News

New Meaning For Jazz Legacy - April 12, 2016

With the closing of Jax and Red White and Bluezz, it's time to focus on the positive.  2016 has ushered in Jazz Legacy performances with the 22 year old pianistic Genius from Indonesia Ade Irawan.  It has been a real privilege and inspiration to perform the Jazz Legacy repertoire with Ade, as well as give occasion to share Ade's original music with the Jazz Legacy audience.  It also bears mentioning the other outstanding "20 something" musicians who have performed so brilliantly and with such maturity with Jazz Legacy.  This would include Brandon Covelli on piano, Sam Webster on drums, and Joe Santa Maria on sax.  It is a great joy and honor to have been a part of these musicians budding careers and inspiring to dream of future musical explorations with them.

98 gigs in 2015! - January 12, 2016

What a great year 2015 has been with residencies at three wonderful venues.  Home base at Jax in Glendale, Latin Jazz at Red White and Bluezz in Pasadena, and "Jazz Church" at the Hilton Universal's best Sunday Brunch in town.  Its been a privilege to perform for fun and fantastic audiences with such great musicians and friends.

86 Gigs in 2014 ! - December 26, 2014

 What a year 2014 has been.  We have lost Frank Strazzeri, Ralph Penland and George Harper,  (and shortly on the heels of the loss of Carl Randall in December 2013).  Yet, it is joyous to remember the many opportunities to make music with these Giants of Jazz that I have been blessed with over this era when these wonderful musicians have moved on to their Reward.  It is humbling and amazing to have been a part of bringing the performances of these musicians to the public.  And speaking of the public, 86 public performances in the year 2014!  And many more to come in 2015!  A huge thank you to all those who have attended our performances...we couldn't do it without you!

Strazz Memorial - June 28, 2014

On June 27th the Jazz Legacy Quintet performed a memorial for Frank Strazzeri at Jax Bar and Grill in Glendale.  Frank had passed away May 9th in Rochester New York, fulfilling his wish to return home.  The Memorial was truly a celebration of Strazz' brilliant music, enthusiastically received by a packed house, with many leading members of the LA Jazz community in attendance.  Musicians having a history with Strazz were included in the lineup, including Paul Kreibich on drums (Woodwinds West), Jeff Takiguchi on bass (Frank Strazzeri Duo from Chez Nous), Steve Johnson, trombone (leader of the Jazz Legacy which featured Strazz and his compositions), new sensation Joe Santa Maria on tenor, and Bill Fulton playing Strazz' part on piano.

Strazz Returns As Special Feature - November 3, 2012

On November 2nd, Strazz was a Special Featured Artist with Jazz Legacy at Jax.  It was a wonderful evening for both the audience and the band.  We had an enthusiastic and numerous audience (which is becoming the norm at Jax, our home base ).  The band, including Carl Randall and myself as the frontline, the marvelous Mel Lee on drums and Glendale's favorite Bass player Randy Landas were joined by Strazz on the piano.  He even brought in a beautiful new tune title Spring, composed in the last few months for us to perform with him.  That really touched my heart.  My only regret is that there is no video or pics, but Strazz doesn't really like that kind of stuff (not to say that he forbade it).  There is some nice archive video on this site and at the sjbop1 channel for those who want to experience this important of "the cats" for sure.

Jazz Legacy Swings Into 2012 - January 1, 2012

Jazz Legacy greeted 2012 at Jax Bar and Grill.  It was a fantastic evening full of excitement and the promise of new opportunities.  The band was OFF THE HOOK.   Special appreciation to dynamic drummer Mel Lee who drove the band with his usual precision and power in spite of a couple broken ribs recently suffered in a traffic accident.  Serge Kasimov continues to shine, bringing out the best of Strazz' wonderful compositions.  A big thank you to the warm reception granted our performance by the great clientele of Jax.  What a comfortable home Jax has become for us!

Srazz' Last Gig with Jazz Legacy - October 1, 2011

Strazz finished performing with Jazz Legacy on October 1st at The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach.  What an inspiration and honor it has been to have a musical association with this Giant of Jazz for close to 2 years, and to have had 20 public performances with Strazz as the pianist of Jazz Legacy. This includes 2 performances at The Lighthouse, where Strazz was a Lighthouse All Star for three years!  Kind regards to him and his wife JoAnn.  We will continue to feature his music with love and respect, to the very best of our collective musical abilities.

Jazz Legacy Extended at Jax - May 1, 2011

Jazz Legacy has been extended at Jax Bar and Grill for Thursdays in May.  Drop by and see what all the excitement is all about!

Jazz Legacy Fills In For Jack Sheldon - April 7, 2011

We are filling Jack Sheldon's spot on Thursdays at Jax Bar and Grill, 339 North Brand Blvd. Glendale, for the month of April.  We understand Jack has taken ill, and we wish him a speedy recovery.  What a great musician and personality he is!  And what a great opportunity for Jazz Legacy!  We'll do our part to keep things swingin' on Thursdays at Jax, a wonderful venue right in downtown Glendale.

Jazz Legacy Plays the KJAZ Brunch - March 27, 2011

March 27th brought Jazz Legacy to the elegant Twist Restaurant at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel for the KJAZ Sunday Brunch.  Bubba Jackson, the regular host was busy representing Jazz in South Africa, so Helen Borgers was the charming hostess.  It was such a pleasure to play for KJAZ, which served as my personal introduction to the world of Jazz back when it was KBCA.  This was the late 50's, and I found the station playing with an FM Multiplex radio that my engineer father put together on the kitchen table.  So I have loved postwar Jazz since childhood.  Helen was a wonderful hostess, the band was off the hook, and the patrons were simply a marvelous group of people!

SRO at JAX - February 16, 2011

Jazz Legacy had our first standing room only audience at Jax last Saturday, February 12th.  It was so inspiring to have such a warm reception, and on drummer Kenny Elliott's birthday.  Thanks to all the cool people who turned up!  Several of Kenny's drum students dropped in, and really enjoyed the music.  It's great to reach younger people.  Pat Putman, who was on my first gig more than 40 years ago came by, as well as Bruce Powell, who I used to play R & B gigs with in the early 70's, as well as a couple of outstanding Trombone players, namely Curt Berg and Albert Elegino.  But the best part of all was to be there when Strazz poured his heart out playing chorus after brilliant chorus on his original composition Moonlit Night.  And special thanks to Carl Randall, who played brilliantly as a guest artist.  We will return to Jax on March 12th at 8:00 PM.  Let's make this a regular monthly engagement!

The Jazz Legacy Quintet Makes The Rounds - October 22, 2010

Steve Johnson's Jazz Legacy Quintet, featuring the music of Frank Strazzeri, has been making the rounds of the greater Los Angeles area venues this summer and fall.  We kicked off our local tour at Spazio's in Studio City.  Then we brought back Strazz, former Light House All Star, to his old stomping grounds at the Light House, followed by an appearance at Sangria, both venues being neighbors on Pier Avenue in beautiful Hermosa Beach.  We're headed for another appearance in the San Fernando Valley at historic Charlie O's in Van Nuys.  It's been great to present our music to various local communities, and very heartwarming to have received enthusiastic responses from jazz fans all over town!

Jazz Legacy Duo Finishes at the Hilton - August 20, 2010

The Jazz Legacy Duo has finished a ten month engagement at the Universal City Hilton Jazz Brunch this last Sunday, August 15th.  What a great run it has been!  Thanks to all the GREAT pianist/vocalists, including: the beautiful and talented Ms Gaea Schell, the Dynamic John Proulx, the swingin' Robin Swenson, the sophisticated Peter Smith, and of course, the multi - talented Jeff Elliott, who partnered so effectively with me to bring inspiration the great venue that is Cafe Sierra.  Thanks to Ray, Abdul, and the great hospitality and kitchen staff.  But most of all, thanks to the many wonderful guests.  You guys were such a wonderful audience!  Come by and enjoy the Jazz Legacy Duo at our next venue!  I'll keep the calendar updated, so we can continue the fun.  Why not buy the CD to keep the inspiration going in the meantime and the in between time!  Best wishes to our replacement J. Curtis, a singer/guitarist who sites Johnny Mathis, George Benson and Wes Montgomery as his major influences.  I say he can't miss!

Hilton Brunch Summer Rotation - June 18, 2010

We're having a sumptuous buffet of great pianist/vocalists featured this summer at the fantastic Hilton Jazz Brunch at Universal City Walk.  The summer kicks off with the Dynamic John Proulx on fathers day weekend, June 19th and 20th.  Then we'll have Swingin' Robin Swenson starting June 26th, a cameo appearance by the Sophisticated Peter Smith on July 10th and the Beautiful and Talented Gaea Schell returning August 1st.  It's a real treat for me to welcome these many talented musicians as featured artists for Steve Johnson's Jazz Legacy Duo, and to enjoy the inspirational jazz performance opportunity they provide with their artistry.

Jeff moves north - April 23, 2010

Jeff Elliott has moved to Santa Maria, 200 miles north of Los Angeles, to be with Nan, the love of his life.  So the Elliott Johnson Duo has evolved, too.  We are now the Jazz Legacy Duo.  I ( Steve Johnson ) will happily continue at the Hilton, here in Universal City, bringing the audience new and exciting jazz collaborators starting with the pride of Canada, the beautiful and talented Gaea Schell.  Of course, I will twist Jeff's arm to return from time to time to grace us with his inspiration and artistry, as well as welcoming the best of the talented jazz community here in Los Angeles to join us at the fabulous Hilton Jazz Brunch.  So enjoy new inspiration with me!

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