Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson - © www.universal-music.de

born on 18/5/1975 in O'ahu Island, HI, United States

Jack Johnson (musician)

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Jack Johnson (musician)

Jack Johnson is an Hawaiian folk rock singer-songwriter, surfer, filmmaker, musician known for his work in the soft rock and acoustic genres. In 2001, he achieved commercial success after the release of his debut album, Brushfire Fairytales. He has since released five more albums, a number of EPs and surfing movies/soundtracks. He is also known for organizing an annual event, the Kkua Festival. Notable songs from Johnson's repertoire include "Upside Down"; "Flake"; "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing"; "If I Had Eyes"; "You and Your Heart"; "Taylor"; and "Better Together".

Early life

Jack Johnson was born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.[1] The son of well-known surfer Jeff Johnson, he took an interest in the sport. He began to learn how to surf at the age of 5. At 17, he became the youngest invitee to make the surfing finals at the Pipeline Masters on Oahu's north shore. One week later, however, his stint as a professional surfer ended when he suffered a surfing accident at the Pipeline that put more than 150 stitches in his forehead and removed a few of his teeth, this later became the inspiration for the song "Drink the Water".[2][3]

Jack Johnson graduated from Kahuku High School on the North Shore of Oahu. He would later attend the University of California, Santa Barbara, and graduate with a degree in film and music production. While Johnson learned the guitar at the age of 8 and started songwriting at the age of 12, his passion for music grew when he played rhythm guitar for the band Soil (not to be confused with the heavy metal band of the same name) in college.[2] Johnson credits his songwriting influences as Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Radiohead, Otis Redding, G. Love and Special Sauce, Ben Harper, Sublime, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Neil Young, and A Tribe Called Quest.[4]


200003: Brushfire Fairytales and On and On

Jack Johnson's big break was writing and contributing vocals for the song "Rodeo Clowns" which was featured on G. Love's 1999 album 'Philadelphonic'. The song would later become the most famous single off the album.

In addition to his later success as a musician, Johnson is also an accomplished filmmaker. Johnson directed the surf films Thicker Than Water (2000) and The September Sessions (2002), in which he also starred. Both movie soundtracks were also products of Johnson. Johnson also starred in the 2004 surf film A Brokedown Melody.

Johnson released a four track demo that caught the attention of Ben Harper's producer, J. P. Plunier, who worked with Johnson on his debut album Brushfire Fairytales in early 2001 with Harper and his Weissenborn lap steel guitar making a guest appearance. Brushfire Fairytales was released on February 1, 2001.

Johnson went back into the studio with Adam Topol (drums, percussion) and Merlo Podlewski (bass), who played on Brushfire Fairytales, and Mario Caldato Jr on production duties, to record his second full-length album On and On. It was the first album to be recorded at Johnson's Mango Tree Studio in Johnson's home town of North Shore, Oahu, and the first to be released through The Moonshine Conspiracy Records. On and On was released on May 6, 2003.

200409: In Between Dreams, Curious George, and Sleep Through the Static

In October 2004, Johnson returned to the Mango Tree Studio with Topol and Podlewski along with Zach Gill (of Animal Liberation Orchestra) playing accordion, melodica and piano, to record his follow-up to 2003's On and On. In Between Dreams was released on March 1, 2005.

Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George is a soundtrack album by Johnson, released on February 7, 2006. The album also features Adam Topol, Ben Harper, G. Love, Kawika Kahiapo, Matt Costa, Merlo Podlewski and Zach Gill. It was the first soundtrack to make it to number 1 since the Bad Boys II soundtrack in August 2003, and was the first soundtrack for an animated film to top the Billboard 200 since the Pocahontas soundtrack in July 1995.

Johnson enlisted J.P. Plunier to produce his fourth full-length studio album, Sleep Through the Static. It was recorded using 100% solar energy at the Solar-Powered Plastic Plant studio in Los Angeles. The album featured Gill (keys), Podlewski (bass) and Topol (drums, percussion). Sleep Through the Static was released on February 1, 2008, and was followed by a world tour.

A live album and DVD of Johnson's 2008 world tour, entitled En Concert, was released on October 27, 2009.[5] The DVD was directed by Emmett Malloy.

Johnson spearheaded the Kokua Festivals (2004-2008 & 2010). Often occurring around Earth Day, these six years of festivals provided support for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, which is a charitable organisation that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii. Kokua Festival 2004/2005 was a DVD released by Jack Johnson Music that showcased the early Kokua Festivals. He also participated, with Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder and others, in the documentary Kokua 2008: 5 Years of Change (2009),[6] produced by Brushfire and Three Foot Giant Productions and shown on Sundance Channel.[7] On April 17, 2012, preceding his 2012 Hawaiian Islands tour, he released the live Kokua Festival compilation Best of Kokua Festival. [8][9][10]

Johnson produced Animal Liberation Orchestra's fifth studio album, Man of the World, which was released February 9, 2010. The album also features vocals from Johnson.

2010present: To the Sea

On 1 February 2010, Johnson's official website announced that his fifth studio album, To the Sea, was in the recording process at the Mango Tree Studio, with a planned worldwide release during the first week of June 2010.[11][12] The website also announced an accompanying European, Australian and New Zealand tour to coincide with the album's release on midnight 31 May.[11]

The first single from To the Sea is "You and Your Heart", released on April 6, 2010.[13]

While speaking with New Zealand radio station ZM, Johnson said he is constantly aiming to build relationships with local pro-environment, non-profit groups. "We try to raise money for a lot of these groups who are doing positive things in the community. We try to focus mostly on environmental education, just trying to get kids out into nature, supporting local farms and things like that."[14]

At the Stan Sheriff Center on April 14, 2012, during the Pillars of Peace Hawai'i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha, Johnson performed introductory music before Nobel Peace Laureate Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, gave the speech "Educating the Heart". Better Together was one of several songs Jack performed.[15][16][17][18][19][20]

2010 world tour

Jack Johnson embarked on a world tour in 2010 with Paula Fuga, a Hawaiian vocalist, playing at a range of venues across the world including Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA and Japan.

2012 Hawaiian Islands tour

On February 22, 2012, Jack with John Cruz and Paula Fuga announced a 7-show acoustic tour of the Hawaiian Islands during April with one show (19) on Kauai at Kauai Community College Performing Arts Center, Lihue, two shows (21 & 22) on Oahu at Hawaii Theater, Honolulu, two shows (25 & 26) on Maui at Castle Theater, Kahului, and two shows (28 & 29) on The Big Island at Kahilu Theater, Waimea.[21][22]

Personal life

On July 22, 2000, Johnson married his college sweetheart Kim.[23] They have three children, two boys and a girl. Johnson lives on the North Shore of the island of Oahu in Hawaii. In an interview with Johnson, Ann Donahue from Billboard described Johnson's family life by saying There is often trouble in balancing the life of an artist, environmentalist, and family man, but Johnson seems to have the niche for such a challenge. This time around, he's found a pace that agrees with himbringing his family along so he can spend mornings with them sightseeing.[24] Both Johnson and his wife refuse to talk about or release any intimate information concerning their children.[25]


Johnson and his wife created the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation after his third album to benefit the children of Hawaii and promote environment awareness. Jack and Kim Johnson also founded the Kokua Hawai'i Foundation in 2003. Johnson and his family work hard every year at festivals and concerts alike, to raise money for causes they feel are most important. Johnson recorded a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" for the 2007 benefit album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, which was also included on the 2009 benefit album Rhythms del Mundo Classics. In talking about Johnson and his career choices, Rolling Stone wrote: "It is a typically generous move from Johnson, who has used his multi-platinum success to support causes he cares about. Although the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization that focuses on environmental, arts and music education, it has raised more than $750,000 from 2009 to 2010 to give away.[26] Johnson was in Osaka, Japan on his To The Sea 2010 World Tour at the time of the 2011 Thoku earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. He was in a hotel with his family when it struck. After having to postpone the rest of his tour, he donated $50,000 to GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. On September 22, 2012 he donated his time to play a few songs at Farm Aid 2012 in Hershey,PA.

Band members

Johnson's band is composed of:

  • Jack Johnson Vocals, guitar
  • Adam Topol Drums, percussion
  • Merlo Podlewski Bass
  • Zach Gill Piano, percussion, background vocals


Main article: Jack Johnson discography

Studio albums

  • Brushfire Fairytales (2001)
  • On and On (2003)
  • In Between Dreams (2005)
  • Sleep Through the Static (2008)
  • To the Sea (2010)

Songbooks and sheet music

  • Brushfire Fairytales: Guitar/Vocal
  • On and On: Guitar/Vocal
  • In Between Dreams: Guitar/Vocal
  • Sleep Through the Static: Guitar/Vocal
  • Sleep Through the Static: Piano/Vocal/Guitar
  • To the Sea: Guitar/Vocal
  • To the Sea: Piano/Vocal/Guitar
  • Jack Johnson Strum & Sing: Easy Guitar
  • Jack Johnson Anthology: Piano/Vocal/Guitar
  • Jack Johnson Anthology: Easy Piano[27]


Year Title Role Notes
1999 Nice Guys Sleep Alone Woody
2001 Out Cold Jack Johnson and Band Cameo

List of awards and nominations received

Award Year Category Result
ESPN Film Festival 2000 Adobe Highlight Award Won
ESPN Action, Sports & Music Awards 2001 Surfing's Music Artist of the Year Won
ESPN Action, Sports & Music Awards 2002 Surfing's Music Artist of the Year Won
ESPN Action, Sports & Music Awards 2005 Best Video Woodie Live Action (Best Live Action Video) Nominated
ESPN Action, Sports & Music Awards 2005 Road Woodie (Best Tour) Nominated
Surfer Magazine 2000 2000 Video of the Year Award Won
Satellite Awards 2006 Best Original Song (from movie "Curious George") Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2006 Best Male Video Nominated
Meteor Ireland Music Awards 2006 Best International Male Nominated
Grammy Awards 2006 Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
Grammy Awards 2006 Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Nominated
ECHO Awards 2006 International Pop/Rock Male Artist of the Year Nominated
ECHO Awards 2007 International Pop/Rock Male Artist of the Year Nominated
ECHO Awards 2009 Best International Male Artist (Bester Kunstler International Rock/Pop) Nominated
Brit Awards 2006 Best International Male Solo Artist Nominated
Brit Awards 2006 International Breakthrough Artist Won
Brit Awards 2007 Best International Male Solo Artist Nominated
Billboard Music Awards 2011 Top Rock Album Nominated
Billboard Music Awards 2011 Top Alternative Album Nominated
Billboard Touring Awards 2010 Humanitarian Award Won
ASCAP Pop Music Awards 2003 ASCAP College Vanguard Award Won
National Wildlife Foundation (NWF) 2012 National Conservation Achievement Award in Communications Won

See also

  • List of singer-songwriters


  1. Jack Johnson Biography. Music.aol.com. Retrieved on 2012-08-30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Jack Johnson Interviews. Web.archive.org (2009-10-26). Retrieved on 2012-08-30.
  3. Cover Story: Jack Johnson The Dude Abides. Rolling Stone. Retrieved on 2010-09-22.
  4. Jack Johnson Music Band. Jackjohnsonmusic.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-22.
  5. Jack Johnson En Concert Brushfire Records. Brushfirerecords.com (2009-07-08). Retrieved on 2010-09-22.
  6. Kokua 2008: 5 Years of Change (2009), IMDb. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
  7. Kokua 2008 company credits page, IMDb. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
  8. Jack Johnson & Friends: Best of Kokua Festival: Amazon.de: Musik. Retrieved on 2012-08-30.
  9. Johnson, Jack (February 22, 2012). Best of Kokua Festival. Brushfire Records. Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  10. Johnson, Jack (February 22, 2012). Kokua Hawaii Foundation. Kokua Hawaii Foundation. Retrieved on April 19, 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 New Album and World Tour, www.jackjohnsonmusic.com, February 1, 2010. URL accessed on February 3, 2010.
  12. New album, 'To The Sea', March 3, 2010. Retrieved March 24, 2010.
  13. Jack Johnson op MySpace Music Gratis gestreamde MP3s, fotos en Videoclips. Myspace.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-22.
  14. Interview with ZM's Polly Gillesipe, May, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  15. Archives. April 03, 2012, The Dalai Lama visits Hawaii, Jack to Perform at Pillars of Peace Event. Jack Johnson Music website. Retrieved on April 20, 2012.
  16. Archives. April 18, 2012, Jack Honored to perform for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Jack Johnson Music website. Retrieved on April 20, 2012.
  17. Media. April 2, 2012, Media Pillars of Peace. Pillars of Peace website. Retrieved on April 20, 2012.
  18. Pillars of Peace video. Kamehameha Schools students welcoming the Dalai Lama to Honolulu, Hawaii, on April 13th, 2012.wmv. YouTube website. Retrieved on April 20, 2012.
  19. Archives (April 15, 2012). Dalai Lama share message of peace in Hawaii. Tibetan Sun website. Retrieved on April 20, 2012.
  20. Kerr, Keoki (April 14, 2012 updated April 16, 2012). On first full day in Hawaii, Dalai Lama shares message of peace with students. Hawaii News Now (KHNL, KGMB, KFVE) website. Retrieved on April 20, 2012.
  21. Archives. Jack Johnson announces new live album & Hawaiian Islands tour. Jack Johnson Music website. Retrieved on March 13, 2012.
  22. Tour. Upcoming tour dates. Jack Johnson Music website. Retrieved on March 13, 2012.
  23. Jack Johnson on his upcoming Hawaii shows. Hawaiimagazine.com (2009-10-21). Retrieved on 2010-09-22.
  24. Donahue, Ann. "YOU DON'T KNOW JACK JOHNSON." Billboard 122.19 (2010): 1214. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 5 Oct. 2010.
  25. It Aint Easy Being This Mellow | Mens Journal. (2008-06-30). Retrieved on 2012-08-30.
  26. Edwards, Gavin. "Jack Johnson's L. A. Beach Party." Rolling Stone 1107 (2010): 19.
  27. Cherry Lane Music.

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Jack Johnson Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Jack Johnson

  • Official website
  • Live recordings by Jack Johnson at the Internet Archive
This page was last modified 05.02.2013 15:01:24

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