Jack Johnson (musician)

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Jack Johnson
Jack Johnson 2014.jpg
Jack Johnson performing at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu, Hawaii, August 1, 2014
Jack Hody Johnson

(1975-05-18) May 18, 1975 (age 44)
ResidenceNorth Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.
Alma mater University of California, Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Years active1992–present
Kim Johnson(m. 2000)
Musical career
Website jackjohnsonmusic.com

Jack Hody Johnson [1] (born May 18, 1975) is an American singer-songwriter, [2] multi-instrumentalist, actor, record producer, documentary filmmaker and former professional surfer. Johnson is known primarily for his work in the soft rock and acoustic genres. [3] [4] In 2001, he achieved commercial success after the release of his debut album, Brushfire Fairytales . Johnson has reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart with his albums Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George in 2006, Sleep Through the Static in 2008, To the Sea in 2010 and From Here to Now to You in 2013. His album In Between Dreams peaked at number two on the chart in 2005 and again in 2013. [5]

Singer-songwriter musician who writes, composes and sings

Singer-songwriters are musicians who write, compose, and perform their own musical material, including lyrics and melodies.

Multi-instrumentalist musician who plays two or more musical instruments with some degree of proficiency

A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays two or more musical instruments at a professional level of proficiency.

Actor person who acts in a dramatic or comic production and works in film, television, theatre, or radio

An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.


Johnson is active in environmentalism and sustainability, often with a focus on the world's oceans. Johnson and wife Kim created the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation and the Kōkua Hawaii Foundation. [6] In 2008, Johnson adopted the concept of greening (reduce and reuse), and donated 100% of the proceeds of the Sleep Through the Static tour to the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation. Similarly, the proceeds from the 2010 To the Sea album tour went to All At Once, a Johnson backed collaboration of greening charities promoting fan involvement. [7] [8] [9]

Environmentalism broad philosophy, ideology and social movement concerning environmental wellbeing

Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology, and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the impact of changes to the environment on humans, animals, plants and non-living matter. While environmentalism focuses more on the environmental and nature-related aspects of green ideology and politics, ecology combines the ideology of social ecology and environmentalism. Ecology is more commonly used in continental European languages while ‘environmentalism’ is more commonly used in English but the words have slightly different connotations.

Sustainability process of maintaining change in a balanced fashion

Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. In the 21st century, refers generally to the ability to exist of the biosphere and human civilisation. Defined also as the process of people maintaining change in a balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations. For many in the field, sustainability is defined through the following interconnected domains or pillars: environment, economic and social, which according to Fritjof Capra is based on the principles of Systems Thinking. Sub-domains of sustainable development have been considered also: cultural, technological and political. While sustainable development may be the organizing principle for sustainability for some, for others, the two terms are paradoxical. Sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Brundtland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987) introduced the term of sustainable development.


Greening is the process of transforming living environments, and also artifacts such as a space, a lifestyle or a brand image, into a more environmentally friendly version. The act of greening generally involves incorporating more environmentally friendly systems into one's environment, such as the home, work place, and general lifestyle.

Early life

The son of well-known surfer Jeff Johnson, Jack was born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. [10] He began to learn how to surf at the age of five. At seventeen he became the youngest invitee to make the finals of the Pipeline Masters, one of surfing's most prestigious surfing events, 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". [11] [12] He appeared as a surfer in The Endless Summer II in 1994. [13]

Oahu The third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands and site of the state capital Honolulu

Oʻahu, known as "The Gathering Place", is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to roughly one million people—about two-thirds of the population of the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state capital, Honolulu, is on Oʻahu's southeast coast. Including small associated islands such as Ford Island and the islands in Kāneʻohe Bay and off the eastern (windward) coast, its area is 596.7 square miles (1,545.4 km2), making it the 20th-largest island in the United States.

Hawaii State of the United States of America

Hawaii is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U.S. state geographically located in Oceania, although it is governed as a part of North America, and the only one composed entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.

The Billabong Pipeline Masters is an event in surfing held annually at Banzai Pipeline in Oahu, Hawaii. It was established in 1970 and attracts the top 45 surfers from The World Surf League (WSL) as well as 16 surfers who compete in walk-on trials. The surfers compete for a share of US$525,000 prize money. The event is the final leg of the Triple Crown of Surfing and the final event on the WSL Championship Tour.

Jack Johnson graduated from Kahuku High School in Oahu. He would later attend the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and graduated in 1997 [14] with a B.A. in Film Studies. [15] 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. [11] In 1994, Zach Gill's band, Django Reinhardt, released a CD that quickly made Django a favorite band of the Isla Vista party scene at UCSB. Django was the rival of Jack Johnson's band Soil, but Gill and Johnson developed a strong friendship, eventually becoming bandmates in later years. [11] [16] [17] While with Soil at UCSB, Johnson opened for then relatively unknown acts such as Sublime and Dave Matthews with far from sold out crowds at the venues. [11]

University of California, Santa Barbara public university near Goleta, California, United States and part of the University of California system

The University of California, Santa Barbara, is a public research university in Santa Barbara, California. It is one of the 10 campuses of the University of California system. Tracing its roots back to 1891 as an independent teachers' college, UCSB joined the University of California system in 1944 and is the third-oldest general-education campus in the system.

Film studies academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films

Film studies is an academic discipline that deals with various theoretical, historical, and critical approaches to films. It is sometimes subsumed within media studies and is often compared to television studies. Film studies is less concerned with advancing proficiency in film production than it is with exploring the narrative, artistic, cultural, economic, and political implications of the cinema. In searching for these social-ideological values, film studies takes a series of critical approaches for the analysis of production, theoretical framework, context, and creation. In this sense the film studies discipline exists as one in which the teacher does not always assume the primary educator role; the featured film itself serves that function. Also, in studying film, possible careers include critic or production. Film theory often includes the study of conflicts between the aesthetics of visual Hollywood and the textual analysis of screenplay. Overall the study of film continues to grow, as does the industry on which it focuses. Academic journals publishing film studies work include Sight & Sound, Film International, CineAction, Screen, Cinema Journal, Film Quarterly and Journal of Film and Video.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

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. [18] Johnson names Jimi Hendrix as his all-time favorite guitarist. [19]

Bob Dylan American singer-songwriter, musician, author, and artist

Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, author, and visual artist who has been a major figure in popular culture for more than fifty years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war movement. His lyrics during this period incorporated a wide range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop-music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.

Jimi Hendrix American guitarist, singer and songwriter

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music".

Radiohead are an English rock band formed in Abingdon-on-Thames in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke, brothers Jonny Greenwood and Colin Greenwood (bass), Ed O'Brien and Philip Selway. They have worked with producer Nigel Godrich and cover artist Stanley Donwood since 1994.


Johnson performing in 2005. Bonnaroo08 jackjohnson2 lg.jpg
Johnson performing in 2005.

2000–03: 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 on the album.

G. Love & Special Sauce alternative hip-hop band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

G. Love & Special Sauce is an alternative hip hop band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They are known for their unique, "sloppy", and "laid back" blues sound that encompasses classic R&B. The band features Garrett Dutton, better known as G. Love, Jeffrey Clemens on drums, and Jim Prescott on bass.

<i>Philadelphonic</i> 1999 studio album by G. Love & Special Sauce

Philadelphonic (1999) was the fourth album by G. Love & Special Sauce, released in 1999.

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 .

Suela released a four track demo that caught the attention of Ben Harper's producer, J. P. Plunier, who worked with Johnson to produce his debut album Brushfire Fairytales during December 2000 with Harper and his Weissenborn lap steel guitar making a guest appearance. [11] [20] Brushfire Fairytales was released on February 1, 2001, and led to Johnson becoming the opening act in late February 2001 for the last twenty-three cities of Ben Harper's “Innocent Criminals” tour of the United States. [11]

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.

The Moonshine Conspiracy Records was later changed to Brushfire Records; Johnson turned the offices and studios of his Los-Angeles based record company into a model of eco-friendliness, with solar power, recyclable CD packaging, and power-saving air conditioners. [21]

2004–09: In Between Dreams, Curious George, and Sleep Through the Static

Johnson performing at the Austin City Limits Festival 2004. JackJohnson2004.jpg
Johnson performing at the Austin City Limits Festival 2004.

On April 3, 2004, Johnson and Ben Harper performed with Toots and the Maytals on Saturday Night Live (season 29, episode 16). [22] [23]

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 Ben Harper, G. Love, 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. [24] The DVD was directed by Emmett Malloy.

Johnson spearheaded the Kōkua Festivals (2004–2008 and 2010). Often occurring around Earth Day, these six years of festivals provided support for the Kōkua Hawai'i Foundation, which is a charitable organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaii. Kōkua Festival 2004/2005 was a DVD released by Jack Johnson Music that showcased the early Kōkua Festivals. He also participated, with Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder and others, in the documentary Kōkua 2008: 5 Years of Change (2009), [25] produced by Brushfire and Three Foot Giant Productions and shown on Sundance Channel. [26] On April 17, 2012, preceding his 2012 Hawaiian Islands tour, he released the live Kōkua Festival compilation Best of Kōkua Festival . [27] [28] [29]

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.

2010: To the Sea

On February 1, 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. [30] [31] The website also announced an accompanying European, Australian and New Zealand tour to coincide with the album's release on midnight 31 May. [30]

The first single from To the Sea was "You and Your Heart", released on April 6, 2010. [32]

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." [33]

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, U.S. and Japan.

2012: Hawaiian Islands tour

Johnson performing as a headliner at Bonnaroo on June 15, 2013 JackJohnson 20130615.jpg
Johnson performing as a headliner at Bonnaroo on June 15, 2013

On February 22, 2012, Jack with John Cruz and Paula Fuga announced a 7-show acoustic tour of the Hawaiian Islands during April. [34] [35] [36]

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, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, gave the speech "Educating the Heart". Better Together was one of several songs Jack performed. [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42]

2013–present: Bonnaroo, From Here to Now to You, and All the Light Above It Too

Johnson released From Here to Now to You with his band on September 17, 2013. On June 15, 2013, Jack and the Band performed as headliners at the 2013 Bonnaroo in Tennessee. [43] [44] He also played two acoustic concerts, one at London's Tabernacle in Notting Hill and the other at New York City's Allen Room at Lincoln Center overlooking Central Park, featuring songs from his upcoming album. [45] [46] [47] The From Here to Now to You Tour ran from March through September 2014.

In February 2017, Johnson announced a U.S. tour beginning in Chicago at the Huntington Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island on June 1 and ending with two Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation benefit concerts at the Waikiki Shell on August 4 & 5. Also, he revealed plans to release an album in the summer 2017. [48] [49] [50] Later, he added a September 10 concert for the 2017 Ohana Fest at Doheny State Beach, Dana Point, California. [51] On September 8, 2017, Jack released his seventh studio album All the Light Above It Too , and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard chart's "Artist 100." [52] [ not in citation given ] In July 2018, Johnson released his greatest hits album " Jack Johnson: The Essentials " in Japan. [53]

Personal life

On July 22, 2000, Johnson married his college girlfriend, Kim. [17] [54] 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 him...bringing his family along so he can spend mornings with them sightseeing." [55] Both Johnson and his wife decline to talk about or release any intimate information concerning their children. [56]


In 2008, Johnson and his wife Kim created the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, a non-profit public charity supporting environmental, art, and music education worldwide. Jack and Kim Johnson also founded the Kokua Hawaii 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. [57] Johnson was in Osaka, Japan on his To the Sea 2010 World Tour at the time of the 2011 Tōhoku 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.

Johnson's Ohana Charitable Foundation has also supported Little Kids Rock, a national nonprofit that works to restore and revitalize music education in disadvantaged U.S. public schools. He also decorated a guitar for Little Kids Rock to auction to raise funds for its program. [58]

On September 22, 2012, he donated his time to play a few songs at Farm Aid 2012 in Hershey, PA. Later in 2012, Jack donated $50,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief and added links on his website for others to donate:

Vocal and music style

Johnson combines baritone vocals with laid-back acoustic instrumentation. He occasionally uses reggae, hip-hop, and soca singing styles, as well as electric instruments.



1999 Nice Guys Sleep Alone Woodyactor
2000 Thicker than Water Himselfdocumentary; also director
2001 Out Cold Jack Johnson and Bandactor; cameo
2002 The September Sessions Himselfdocumentary; also director
2002Getting Outshort film; composer
2004 A Brokedown Melody Himselfdocumentary; also director
2017The Smog of the Sea [60] Himselfdocumentary; composer

List of awards and nominations received

ESPN Film Festival2000Adobe Highlight AwardWon
ESPN Action, Sports & Music Awards2001Surfing's Music Artist of the YearWon
ESPN Action, Sports & Music Awards2002Surfing's Music Artist of the YearWon
ESPN Action, Sports & Music Awards2005Best Video Woodie – Live Action (Best Live Action Video)Nominated
ESPN Action, Sports & Music Awards2005Road Woodie (Best Tour)Nominated
Surfer Magazine 20002000 Video of the Year AwardWon
Satellite Awards 2006Best Original Song (from movie "Curious George")Nominated
MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2006Best Male VideoNominated
Meteor Ireland Music Awards 2006Best International MaleNominated
Grammy Awards 2006 Best Male Pop Vocal Performance Nominated
Grammy Awards 2006 Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals Nominated
ECHO Awards 2006International Pop/Rock Male Artist of the YearNominated
ECHO Awards 2007International Pop/Rock Male Artist of the YearNominated
ECHO Awards 2009Best International Male Artist (Bester Kunstler International Rock/Pop)Nominated
Brit Awards 2006Best International Male Solo ArtistNominated
Brit Awards 2006International Breakthrough ArtistWon
Brit Awards 2007Best International Male Solo ArtistNominated
Billboard Music Awards 2011Top Rock AlbumNominated
Billboard Music Awards 2011Top Alternative AlbumNominated
Billboard Touring Awards 2010Humanitarian AwardWon
ASCAP Pop Music Awards 2003ASCAP College Vanguard AwardWon
National Wildlife Foundation (NWF) 2012National Conservation Achievement Award in CommunicationsWon

See also

Related Research Articles

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In Between Dreams is the third studio album by singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, released by Brushfire Records in the United States on March 1, 2005. The album received generally mixed reviews from music critics. However, the album achieved considerable commercial success. In Between Dreams has sold over 15 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of the 21st century.

<i>Brushfire Fairytales</i> 2001 studio album by Jack Johnson

Brushfire Fairytales is the debut album by singer-songwriter Jack Johnson. It was released in 2001 through Enjoy Records, a label that was later renamed Everloving Recordings. The album's primary musicians are Johnson (vocals/guitars/piano), Adam Topol (drums/percussion) and Merlo Podlewski (bass). It was produced by J. P. Plunier, recorded and mixed by Todd Burke, with assistant engineers Andrew Alekel & Chad Essig. It was recorded near Hollywood and Vine just north of 6400 Sunset at 1520 N Cahuenga in Los Angeles at Grandmaster Recorders, King Sound, and mastered by Dave Collins. Guests include Tommy Jordan and Ben Harper. The single "Flake" was Jack Johnson's first.

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A Brokedown Melody is a 2004 documentary surf film from Woodshed Films directed by singer/songwriter Jack Johnson and his film school friend Chris Malloy. Presented as a special screening to benefit the Kōkua Hawai'i Foundation at the Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu on August 11, 2004, the film had premieres during the fall of 2004 at the Malibu International Film Festival (MIFF) on September 16, 2004, at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts during the 2nd annual Moonshine Festival on October 9, 2004, at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara in October, 2004, and at the Hawai'i International Film Festival (HIFF) in Honolulu in October, 2004. It is the fourth of The Moonshine Conspiracy films.

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