Louis Johnson

Band Leader Louis Johnson is joined by consortium of top Detroit area musicians to form Motor City Beat and Louis Johnson Jazz. They are highly experienced in all types of popular music, especially Motown, Jazz and Blues and have played in a wide array of settings, from large stage shows to private residences. Some of the venues which they’ve played recently include many of the top Country Clubs in South Eastern Michigan and northern Ohio, the Motor City Casino, Detroit Princess River Boat, Michigan State Fair Grounds, The Henry Ford, Detroit Zoo, and many others, as well as many private residences.
Louis (piano, keyboards, saxes, flute & vocals) is featured on all the recordings on this web site. For the Dance music he is joined by Sandy Love (Guitar, trumpet & vocals), Larry Walton (Electric Bass) and Jim Ryan or Carl Graves (drums), along with a number of vocalists, including Lindsey Longmire. The Jazz recordings feature Louis on Piano and sax, Don Mayberry (String Bass) and Jim Ryan (drums). The core R & B and Jazz Groups are frequently joined by male and female vocalists as well as trumpet, saxophone and trombone players, including Al Harelson, Marty “Saxman” Montgomery and Ron Kischuck.
Louis Johnson hails from Western Michigan and a musical family. He started playing professionally in high school and went on to obtain a degree in music performance from Kalamazoo College. He also studied at the Paris Conservatory and holds French diplomas in music and has performed and recorded around the world. While in College Louis played frequently with renowned Jazz pianist Claude Black and later toured Japan with the Brazilian organist Walter Wanderlay, and Puerto Rico with Columbian Pianist Eddie Martinez. Louis moved to the Detroit area in the mid 1980’s and co-founded “Motor City Beat” with the late, great, Motown Records session musicians, John E. Griffith and Richard “Pistol” Allen and has performed with many of the top musicians in the area, including Don Mayberry and Larry Walton, ever since.