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Conrad Johnson

Conrad Johnson, one of the centers of gravity in the Houston jazz scene, passed away on Sunday. I had only a few lessons with Prof and he kicked my butt, he must have been 80-something at the time.

7 replies on “Conrad Johnson”

It’s always sad when some like this passes away. But it seems to me that he’s left a pretty good impression on some people – such as yourself – as an excellent musician.

In the ’60s, Port Angeles had to have its ‘steet festival’, code for hippy-debauchery, an effete Rio Carnival. Strangely, it survived, morphing and then finding a reliable new identity.

Port Angeles looks about 25 miles across the Strait of Juan de Fuca at the British Columbia capitol city of Victoria. Canada.

In Canada, Resistance Is Not Futile, and we are the Borg. Especially, our insufferably superioristic entertainment industry. All music is just money, Honey.

In Canada, musicians are protected by laws that regulate Federal, Provincial, Corporate and Media practices. They compare it to waking up and realizing that letting the Marlboro Man and Joe Camel spend quality-time with the kids just isn’t in our collective interest.

So in Canada there are many very fine individual and small-group musicians. ‘Taking it to the USA’ is a feather in their hat, and it can’t get any more handy & agreeable than Port Angeles.

From the ski slopes behind Port Angeles one can see the entirety of Western Canada, demographically. The street-festival is now primarily a music-festival … specialized as a show-case for Canadian talent … and then drawing similar small-audience American musicians from the Northwest Region, and often beyond.

A Canadian musician who earns a middle class income has arrived. They are stable. Though they are hard to see in the glare of our industrial publicity machine, some American groups have achieved the same thing. You can see an unusual collection of both, each summer in Port Angeles.

Conrad Johnson would approve.

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