Sam has been a working musician for the past 15 years, and is currently based in York, UK.
Playing piano from the age of 5, he has always loved performing & composing, and has continued to do so ever since.
He has collaborated with some of the country’s best new talent, being featured for two consecutive years at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, performing his own compositions as well as those of other band members with the Fusion collective ‘Donkey Zoo’.
He made his large-scale ensemble compositional debut in 2014 with ‘The Sam Johnson Big Band’ writing a jazz suite entitled ‘Chrono-suite’ exploring the use of Big Band in film scores & programmatic material. [playlist below]
He has continued to write and arrange for the ensemble, performing in conjunction with a number of events for 'Big Voice Promotions'.
After graduating from The University of York in 2014 with a 1st BA Hons and the Horatio Waywell prize for the highest Grade 8 Woodwind ABRSM marks in the region, Sam has been teaching in and around the York area, offering tuition in Piano & Saxophone (Jazz & Classical), Music Theory (ABRSM syllabus) & Music production.
Sam has also worked with a number of theatre groups as Musical Director, namely PickMeUp Theatre, York Stage Musicals, NEMusicals & Big Voice Promotions, as well as for a number of other charity events and one off performances.
Alongside fellow composer and producer Sam Rankin, the duo have set up a composing house for tv, film & theatre called 'Hourglass Sounds'. Writing music for prime time television and live theatre sound design, he continues to work on new and exciting projects as part of this partnership as well as in his own freelance work as performer, composer & producer.
The Sam Johnson Big Band were formed as an amalgamation of 18 students and staff from The University of York in October 2013, as part of the ‘Chrono-suite’ project; a programmatic Big-Band suite. At this time, the group were known as The Chrono-suite Big Band, later named after its bandleader as performance opportunities grew outside of the suite, and guest soloists began to appear with the ensemble.
The band showcases some of the best York-based talent in performance and composition, performing pieces not only written by Sam, but also by other band members for many different types of events around York and the surrounding areas.