We went to the 2014 Hope for Hearts Casino Night Saturday night at the Sphinx Club.

We snapped Ski Johnson with Lily, the night’s Queen of Hearts, a true fighter and an inspiration, who’s hadopen-heart surgery several times at Children’s NationalMedical Center.


Last night we also went to an intimate Valentine's evening of mellow jazz
 at the downtown Ritz-Carlton. We snapped five-time Grammy Considered 
Ski Johnson with singer Trevor Holland, who entertained with soulful
jazz as guests enjoyed champagne and desserts by exec chef Nelson Paz.

Ski Johnson – Underdogs on Top

Aug. 7, 2012

Veteran smooth jazz saxophonist Ski Johnson steps out with a cool R&B/jazz project, Underdogs On Top,  with a splash of hip hop that holds some bold attitude. Hybrids of this nature have to offer something truly noteworthy for me, and I have to say that there is something about the boldness of this album, coupled with nice sax action and the truly decent vocals of Mycah Chevalier, Trevor Holland, and Dominique Hatcher that gives the production weight.

The album doesn’t speed through with hopped up percussions and over-the-top rhythms. Instead, it takes its time and delivers pretty solid grooves. The first four tracks after the spoken intro (“Do Me Right Do Me Wrong,” “My Superman,” “My Place,” and even the suggestive “That Thing,” are smooth and romantic tracks that can speak to the lover in all of us. Then, there are funkier mid-tempo tracks like the raw and earthy “Funky” and “Want Me.” Also, the cover of “Amazing Grace” is a very memorable interpretation – a real stand-out 

on the album.

The album’s soulful (and, yes, bold) nature, the romanticism of the previously mentioned first four tracks, and the tunes “Funky” and “Amazing Grace” – along with the competent vocals by Holland, Chevalier, and Hatcher — actually carry the day here.  There are 8 tracks, a spoken intro, and and outro here. Excluding the spoken tracks that simply provide a quick history behind the album’s title,the vast majority of the music is catchy and worth a good listen. – Ronald Jackson

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Ski Johnson celebrates with Washington Life

Ski Johnson and John Arudel
Grammy Superstar Ski Johnson and the Alexandria Choral Arts Society provided the entertainment.

Winning with Ski!


Music star Ski Johnson surrounded by Team Nike: Kevin Taylor, Tracey Brown, CNN White House correspondent Brianna Keilar, Everybody Wins exec director Mary Salander, and team captain Orson Porter.

Music star Ski Johnson was the celebrity guest at a fundraiser Monday at Reston Golf Club for Everybody Wins! DC, the largest children’s mentoring and literacy non-profit in the DC area. He’s surrounded by Team Nike: Kevin Taylor, Tracey Brown, CNN White House correspondent Brianna Keilar, Everybody Wins exec director Mary Salander, and team captain Orson Porter.



Life of the Party: D.C. 15th Annual Scramble

Grammy Award winning saxophonist and D.C. elite tee off for Everybody

Wins! D.C. 15th Annual Scramble golf event.
By Shannon O’Reilly

Posing with the winners (from left to right): , , CNN White House Correspondent, Brianna Keilar, Grammy award winning saxophonist , Everybody Wins! DC Executive Director, , and team captain .

Grammy Award winning saxophonist , joined community leaders and big name

companies for the ultimate tee off for charity. Everybody Wins! D.C. 15th Annual Scramble

hosted a fun filled day of competition with closest-to-the-pin contests and more golf

themed challenges at the Reston National Golf Course in Virginia. Golf enthusiasts and event

supporters teamed up in group of fours for the ultimate first place bragging rights. At the end

of the day the winning foursome was led by team captain . CNN White House

correspondent Brianna Keilar served as the events emcee and awarded the winning team.

Big names such as Miami Dolphins TEJoey Haynos participated in the event in support of

Everybody Wins!,a D.C. and national organization devoted to promoting children’s literacy

and a love of learning through reading.

Ski Johnson Album Release Party

Last Wednesday, the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown opened its doors for a celebration of music in support of a good cause. Ski Johnson performed songs from their new albums, “Poetically Justified” and “New Beginnings”, respectively. Marcus’ album has moved into the #5 spot after only 15 days. Ski has also had overwhelming success. “New Beginnings” debuted 3rd on the Bill Board Contemporary Jazz Charts and many say he is destined for a Grammy.
The local media, musicians, and other notable Washingtonians turned out in force to cover the event and to support the two local artists. Huey Lewis, Ginuwine, and his wife Sole joined the crowd in the lobby of the Ritz for the performance. Music certainly wasn’t the only thing flowing. and Tarara Winery, sponsors of the event, offered specialty cocktails and a selection of wines while a percentage from album sales were donated to another event sponsor, the American Cancer Society.

The Ritz Carlton provided a suitable back drop for this special occasion, but where in DC do both Marcus and Ski enjoy performing? After playing venues all over the District, both entertainers sited Blues Alley as one of their
favorite places to perform because of its history and intimate atmosphere. It’s also one of their favorite places to
go and enjoy live jazz.

Grammy Nominee Ski Johnson performs at the W's P.O.V. Lounge

 I had the opportunity to speak with Ski about his most recent album "New Beginnings",

which at the time had debuted at #3 on the Billboard Charts. That was over 5 months ago. Ski's album has since reached #1 and earned him several Grammy nominations. Recently endorsed by Rolls Royce/Bentley of Bethesda and the American Cancer Society, Ski is

preparing to embark on the 40 city Jazz For Life Tour.

Johnson performed last Friday at the P.OV. Lounge atop the W Hotel at another benefit for

the American Cancer Society. In the mist of such enormous success, Ski has remained remarkably humble and down to earth using his celebrity as a platform to promote the

Cancer Society's efforts to find a cure. Having lost both parents to cancer, Johnson feels a strong connection to the American Cancer Society and the work they're doing. "I know I've done my part and that my parents are looking down and happy," he said.

Ski's performance at the P.O.V on Friday was just another example of why his talents are bringing jazz to the forefront. No longer simply setting the mood, jazz is stepping into the spotlight and crossing over into other genres of music. Recalling a conversation that he had with P. Diddy, Johnson shared the mogul's prediction that saxophones will soon be appearing

in rap music. With influences from everything from rock to hip-hop and an expressed desire

to record in all genres including country, Johnson will undoubtedly make a seamless


There's something special about watching a band perform in an intimate setting like the

P.O.V. Lounge. With striking views of the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the White House, this rooftop hotspot's dim lighting, candles, and mix of cocktail tables and

lounge furniture combines for a super sexy and very grownup atmosphere. A crowd of fans

and supporters including Washington insiders like event sponsor Kate Michael (KstreetKate.net), Jason Van Buren, and DJ Mello T enjoyed songs from Ski's new album and some old favorites as well. The P.O.V offered a signature cocktail for the occasion. The "New Beginnings" was a delightful mix of brandy and pear sour topped with a frothy music note.

For more information on Ski Johnson's upcoming tour, go to www.skijohnsonmusic.com
Go HERE to learn more about the W Hotel and the P.O.V. Lounge

Grammy Nominee Ski Johnson performs at the W Hotel

I had the opportunity to hang out with Grammy Nominated artist Ski Johnson in his media suite prior to
a performance at the W's P.O.V. Lounge last Friday. Ski spoke about
 his current success, his connection to the American Cancer Society, and
 the future of jazz music.

This was truly one of the coolest nights I've had in a long time. Not only does Ski have an undeniable talent, but he is extremely humble and down to earth. Success hasn't
 gone to his head and he certainly has not lost his sense of humor.

I was beyond nervous arriving to the media suite with an interview already in full swing. It
was just pass 7:30pm and the show was scheduled to begin at 8. The room was full of Ski's supporters looking on with pride as he answered questions about his life and career.

After many years in the industry, Ski has remain focused on what's important-family, friends, and giving back. He knows that many in the industry go from playing major venues one night
to a local venue the next. But it all comes down to his music being heard and having the
power to move those that listen.


Ski Johnson Dazzles in Septime Webre's Nutcracker

Councilman Jack Evans (second from left) and Ski Johnson (second from right)
 at Warner Theatre
Photo: Photo courtesy of Wide-A-Wake PR

With over 350 local performers, familiar

Washington back drops, and the addition

of regionally significant dance numbers,

The Washington Ballets’ presentation of Septime Webres’ Nutcracker at the

Warner Theatre has truly captured the unique flavor of the district.

The ballet’s artistic director, Septime Webre has transformed the well known German holiday tale of Clara and her nutcracker by weaving in touches of Americana through out the 2 act production. From a Nutcracker Prince modeled after George Washington and Fredrick Douglas mingling amongst party guests, to steam boats and cherry blossoms on the Potomac, this

story has all the makings of an American classic.

This enchanting tale begins as we join Clara and her family at their Georgetown Mansion preparing for a Christmas Eve celebration. Set in 1882, this festive gathering draws quite a crowd and is the perfect opportunity for a few local celebrities and political figures to make a

cameo. Last Sunday’s performance was introduced by DC's First Lady, Michelle Fenty and starred Grammy nominated recording artist Ski Johnson along side Councilman Jack Evans as

two very dapper party guests. Johnson donned white gloves and carried his saxophone on stage for his role as the Ambassador. The party was a joyous and thoroughly entertaining

fete but, unfortunately and much to the dismay of a gentleman in my row, Ski’s appearance didn’t include a saxophone solo.

The second act takes us on a whimsical journey into Clara’s dream featuring King George III

as the Rat King, a rousing battle, a heroic Nutcracker, and a stirring celebration. Two

highlights unique to this reinvented production are the dance of the acrobatic frontiersman

and the duet of an Anacostian brave and maiden. The frontiersman, played by Brooklyn Mack, and a troupe of frontier girls nearly brought the crowd to their feet. Mack’s performance

was a dazzling show of athleticism with sky high leaps and hands free cartwheels. In

contrast, the brave and maiden duet was subtle, beautiful, and moving. The barely there costumes and chiseled dancer physiques have undoubtedly inspired one or two new gym memberships.

There’s still time to catch this modern day fairytale at the Warner Theatre before it closes on
Sunday, December 27th. Go to WarnerTheatre.com for more information or purchase tickets online at LiveNation.com.


Jazz Musician Ski Johnson Goes Gospel at Fundraiser

Kate Michael/NITESIDE

Billboard chart topper Ski Johnson was on a mission Wednesday night at the

Embassy of Croatia. Coordinating the event in partnership with Amb. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Rev. Spencer Jackson, Ski's soulful jazz tunes and a lively art auction helped raise funds

for missions in Ethiopia. "Tonight is about people coming together in a spiritual way," he said.

American Patriot Awards Gala

Ski Johnson, Col. Jim Seaon

On Friday, more than 600 guests gathered at the Ronald Reagan Building for the the annual

American Patriot Awards Gala and dinner to benefit the National Defense University.

The 2009 awardees were the men and women of the Central Command (CENTCOM), whose missions encompass an area stretching from Kenya in the East to Pakistan in the West, including both the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters.

CENTCOM Commander General David Petraeus, U.S.A. and members of the five branches of the military all accepted awards on behalf of their fellow soldiers.

Also at the event were Army Generals Ann Dunwoody, George Casey, and John Rogers Galvin, USA (Ret).  Grammy nominated jazz saxophonist Ski Johnson provided the music for the evening.

In the Crowd: Iraqi Ambassador Samir Sumaida'ie, Afghan Ambassador Said Jawad and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel

We Hooked Another One: Jazz Saxophonist, Ski Johnson

(page 1 of 2)

Beginning to play golf was sort of like playing saxophone for the first time—being out there

all alone, me and the sax and me and the green. When you’re playing saxophone on stage

it’s a do or die situation and the it’s same with golf. When you’re teeing off or putting no one can help you, you face a defining moment. Recently I attended an event with The Green Magazine and it was just so exciting. It was such a great experience that I’m playing

regularly now.

As for the sax, I started playing around 1984. I went to Duke Ellington School for the Arts in

DC and later went to Howard University. At 12 years old I lost my hair and my mother

thought it was cancer or some life threatening disease. Thank God it didn’t end up being

that, but I went through a lot of issues in school with my peers. The music and playing saxophone was my escape. My grandfather used to play the clarinet and my mother

introduced me to that and later I switched to the sax. Eventually the sax became my everything.

I’ve recorded eight albums but my latest album was god-sent. God just guided me through

the entire process. I give all praise to him. I don’t care how big you get or how successful

you are, God controls everything. Both of my parents passed away from cancer and I’ve

never dedicated an album to a cause, but this one I dedicated to the American Cancer

Society. And the one album that I do that with is the album that goes to number one and

get’s nominated for the Grammys and Smooth Jazz awards. That told me that this is God’s

will and I know I’m doing what’s right and that’s why I’m being blessed.

Before the album [New Beginnings] began to receive national attention I put the American Cancer Society logo on the back and I was determined to give them my all. Later on the President of The American Cancer Society came to me and said that he wanted to really get behind me, that he appreciated everything I had been doing and that he wanted to so a

tour among other things.

You have to be faithful. I’ve been blessed to do very well [in my own battle with cancer] and

to have success and to be healthy. You have to know what your purpose is and follow your heart and know that God is watching and he’s leading you.

I would like to thank Ina Martinez, the president of your magazine, not just for helping to expose me to golf but for being a wonderful person. I applaud her and I applaud

The Green’s efforts.

   The Bad Boy of Jazz!!!

By Tsehaye Debalkew

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"Living It Up With the Bad Boy Of Jazz," was the buzz word in a new entertainment show featuring Grammy Nominated saxophonist, the renowned Ski Johnson, the bad boy of jazz, that was staged last Wednesday, from dusk to dawn at the ballroom of the Ethiopian Embassy, here in Washington DC. to a packed audience of celebrities extraordinaire!!

Sponsored and organized by the Jazz for Life Foundation, a Humanitarian Agency, established in January 2010 by the famous artist Ski Johnson, that purports to bring about awareness to Americans and people around the Globe of the Cancer Epidemic, the Gala Night was laden with the sacred objective of opening doors, and demand attention to education and finding a cure for cancer.

A musical extravaganza was presented during the event highlighting the occasion that elated the distinguished guests who enjoyed the show. The foundation funds various programs for research and hosts Galas throughout the country, with the ultimate goal of finding a final resting result for the Cancer Epidemic. The event is part of the increasing partnership between the Ethiopian and African- American Communities. The guests were welcome by Ato Wondimu Asamnew, Head of Public Diplomacy and Public Relations of the Embassy.


Whitney Houston will take a break from her troubled concert tour this weekend to swing by the nation's capital. But the diva will likely be doing more dancing than singing.

Houston plans attend the annual Ball on the Mall Saturday night, a black tie dance that
benefits the Trust for the National Mall. The Trust works works to restore the health of
plants and grassy spaces on the National Mall, which take a beating under the feet of the
tens of thousands of visitors to the park every year.

According to organizers, Houston won't be showing up stag: She'll be the date of jazz
legend Ski Johnson, who is her longtime friend. The low-key visit should be a welcome
change for the singer, whose international Nothing but Love tour has been beset by vocal problems, lateness, and mangled lip synching.

The Ball on the Mall is held under a tent on the National Mall and guests dance to a swinging orchestra after dinner.

Whitney Houston a No-Show at Ball on the Mall

Whitney Houston skipped out on the annual Ball on the Mall over the weekend where the

singing sensation was scheduled to make an appearance, according to reports. 

The pop icon, whose comeback tour has been marred by missteps, was set to appear at the Trust for the National Mall event on Saturday during a layover en route to Zurich, Switzerland,

for concert Sunday night, her publicist told the Washington Examiner.

But, the paper reported, around 10 p.m. it became clear that, despite handlers' assurances, Houston would not be making an appearance. 

Organizers told The Hill ahead of Saturday's ball that Houston planned to show up on the

arm of pal Ski Johnson, jazz icon who did manage to make an appearance at the benefit ball. Johnson was spotted at the event -->


ki Jo

Monday, November 22, 2010


Photographs by McArthur Newell
One of my first introductions to bebop jazz came through the means of a fellow chef - Jason Stitt. Jason was on the the cooks I brought on to the kitchen staff at the White House. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that his father is jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt. If you enjoy classic jazz, there is nothing like the feel good rendition of Sonny Stitt's, "Everything Happens to Me."

Recently I had the pleasure of meeting another celebrated saxophonist at the Hay Adams in Washington, D.C. Ski Johnson is known for the way he combines elements of jazz, soul, r & b, funk, and hip-hop. He skillfully takes sounds from across time and space and weaves them into compositions that are familiar and unique. My conversation with Ski led both of us to draw parallels between jazz and contemporary cuisine: Both are free-form, yet structured. Each absorb a large variety of influences and techniques - yet they somehow still maintain a distinctive American identity.

I recently learned that Ski is currently working on a project that hits close to home. He lost both his parents to cancer. I lost my mother the same way. At the beginning of this year, Ski set up a unique venue called The Jazz for Life Foundation. Just as the name implies, it is a place where people can give donations to fight this dreaded disease. Please join Ski and many others on Saturday, February 19, 2011 in Seattle for an incredible Black Tie Gala Fundraiser. Proceeds will benefit the Jazz for Life Foundation and the American Cancer Society. The cameras should be rolling so you might just end up appearing on his new TV show called, "Living It Up With Ski Johnson."hnson, #1 Billboard and Gram

Jazz Artist   A Jazz Superstar!


People, Politics, and Power

Having a heart

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, D.C.'s jazz great Ski Johnson will perform for children at the Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital.  The performance will be on

Thursday at 11:30 a.m. Ski Johnson donates much of his time annually through his J

Jazz for Life Foundation and other organizations. Johnson says, "I'm just trying to do 

my part, Everyone can make a difference." Now that’s having a heart. 

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