Musician, Artist, Software Developer
As a musician I work to bridge my traditional music background of gospel, blues, and jazz with both the old and the new — the old being the ancient Mande (Manding / Mandinka / Mali) musiks of a West Africa and the new being the cosmic spiritual sound by artists like Sun Ra and Alice and John Coltrane. I play saxophones, flutes, traditional west African percussion and have taken a recent interest in electronic drum machines and synths.
Raymond Johnson is a musician and composer from Houston, TX. Continuing in a tradition of family musicianship, Raymond began playing saxophone in primary school. Later Raymond began to study flutes and traditional West African instruments such as djembe, balafon, kora, and dundun, kalimba, and various types of percussion.
Raymond’s major artistic influences include tracing the history of folk, spiritual, and religious music across the African Diaspora spanning North America, South America, the Caribbean, the Sahel of Africa, West Asia, and South Asia. Along with exploring the musical styles such as Spirituals, of these regions Raymond’s practice includes studying the history and intersection of music and science in the fields of acoustics and sound therapy.
Having recorded on several albums such as Suelta (Superfonicos) and Darkness Falls (Golden Dawn Arkestra), Raymond has also created his own compositions of Moment of Resolution and Life on the Underground. Under tutelage of master musician, Abou Sylla, Raymond has performed with Bramaya as well as completing intensive studies of traditional Mande musics of West Africa. He has toured nationally in the United States performing in El Paso, TX; Marfa, TX; Pamona, CA; and Santa Fe, NM in addition to international performances in Mexico City, Mexico; Quebec City, Canada; Paris, France; Hamburg, Germany; and Winterthur, Switzerland. Raymond has also performed in major music festivals such as SXSW, Blues on the Green, Saturnalia, Fiesta de la Flor, Austin City Limits, NRMAL, Fusebox, Festival d’Ã©tÃ© de QuÃ©bec, and Watt en Schlick.
- Darkness Falls (Golden Dawn Arkestra), 2019
- Suelta EP (SuperfÃ³nicos), 2018
- Swandala (Storbm), 2018
- Unbreakable (Soul Track Mind), 2014
- Moment of Resolution, 2012
- Life on the Underground, 2011
- Chesterfield (Chesterfield), 2011
- Ghost of Soul (Soul Track Mind), 2010
- MS Dockville (Golden Dawn Arkestra). Hamburg, DE.
- Point Ã‰phÃ©mÃ¨re (Golden Dawn Arkestra). Paris, FR.
- Theaterfestival Boulevard (Golden Dawn Arkestra). â€™s-Hertogenbosch, NL.
- At The B-Sites (Golden Dawn Arkestra). KÃ¶ln, DE.
- Winterthurer Musikfestwochen (Golden Dawn Arkestra). Winterthurer, CH.
- Watt En Schlick Festival. (Golden Dawn Arkestra). Dangast, DE.
- Bluedot (Golden Dawn Arkestra). Cheshire, UK. 2019.
- Festival d’Ã©tÃ© de QuÃ©bec (Golden Dawn Arkestra). Quebec City, CA.
- Verdun | Festival International de Jazz de MontrÃ©al. (Golden Dawn Arkestra). MontrÃ©al, CA.
- Festival Akamba (Golden Dawn Arkestra). AmatitÃ¡n, MX.
- NRMAL (Golden Dawn Arkestra). Ciudad de Mexico, MX. 2019.
- Meow Wulf (Golden Dawn Arkestra). Santa Fe, NM.
- Austin City Limits Festival (Superfonicos). Austin, TX.
- Blues on the Green (Superfonicos). Austin, TX.
- Saso Lâ€™Oju Egun / Behind the Mask (Akirash), Fusebox Festival. Austin, TX.
- Fiesta de la Flor (Superfonicos). Corpus Christi, TX.
- Austin360 Studio Sessions (Superfonicos). Austin, TX.
- Waterloo Records Day Party (Superfonicos). Austin, TX.
- Official SXSW Latin Showcase presented by Zona Indie (Superfonicos). Austin, TX.
2014 – 2017
- KUTX Studio 1A (Superfonicos). Austin, TX. 2017.
- Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival (SuperfÃ³nicos). Austin, TX. 2016.
- Texas Folklife Festival. San Antonio, TX. 2016.
- International Music Festival (Zoumountchi). Austin, TX. 2014, 2016, 2017.
- Miracle on 34th St.: Georgetown Palace Theater, 2015
- The Buddy Holly Story: Georgetown Palace Theater, 2015
alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, concert flute, Native American flute, djembe, balafon, kora, kalimba, private instruction, composition, arrangement, digital music production, Logic Pro, audio recording
- Awardee: Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program, 2016
- Finalist: Black Fret Artist (Superfonicos), 2020
- Panelist: Texas Folklife Apprenticeship Program, 2020