Elmira College Odyssey Program to feature Musician Marcus Johnson
February 06 2015
Category: Campus Life
Marcus Johnson, an independent Billboard-ranked musician and NAACP Image Award-nominated jazz keyboardist and pianist, and CEO and Founder of FLO Brands, LLC will perform February 9 at 8:00 p.m. at Gibson Theatre in Emerson Hall.
About Marcus Johnson
Johnson’s FLO Brands, LLC, trade mark is aptly titled For the Love Of ; LLC. ™ FLO began as a musical publishing, production, and lifestyle branding company to house all of Johnson’s musical and entrepreneurial ventures. However the scope and reach of the company has expanded delving into winemaking, sourcing grapes and production in California. FLO Brands launched FLO Wines, LLC in March 2012. FLO Wine is capturing the taste buds of wine-lovers from California to South Carolina. To date retail partners in various states include Costco, Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, Giant, Harris Teeter, Renaissance Hotels, Kroger, Aloft Hotels, Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, Farm Fresh, and Total Wine. As the owner and brand ambassador, a marketing initiative is currently underway with Johnson’s “Sips & Sounds” performances marrying music and wine For the Love Of concept. FLO Wine currently offers a FLO Red Californian Blend a FLO California Chardonnay, and as of July 2013, a 2012 FLO California Moscato.
A graduate of Howard University, Johnson went on to simultaneously earn both his MBA and Juris Doctorate degrees at Georgetown University. In 1995 during this demanding period at Georgetown, he also decided to independently produce and distribute his first jazz album, Lessons in Love, which sold more than 40,000 units, a major success for an unknown independent artist’s debut release. One year later, he released Inter Alia, with great acclaim. These two albums led to Johnson signing with N2K Encoded Music where he released several CDs until the label was sold in 1998.
Johnson’s success caught the attention of Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder and businessman Robert L. Johnson who invested in Marcus and his new found company, Marimelj Entertainment Group (MEG). Under their partnership, MEG’s label, Three Keys Music based in the Washington, DC metro area, established its own full service recording studio, Studio 8121; and two music publishing companies, Marimelj Music Publishing and Three Keys Music Publishing. Marcus was responsible for releasing and producing CDs on the Three Keys label for national jazz artists Michael Lington, Jaared Arosemena, Bobby Lyle, Nick Colionne, R&B singer, Alyson Williams and neo-soul songstress Yahzarah and smooth jazz Saxophonists Phillip Martin and Brian Lenair. While producing music for the aforementioned artists, Marcus also released several critically acclaimed albums: Inter Alia, Chocolate City Groovin’; Coming Back Around; Urban Groove, In Person: Live at Blues Alley, Just Doing What I Do, Smooth Jazz Christmas and In Concert for a Cause, all charting at Top 20 or more on Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz Charts.
Marcus has the distinction of having his groundbreaking 2008 Billboard Contemporary Jazz Cds, which consisted of three distinct albums, all charted Top 10 on Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts simultaneously. Johnson’s previous solo 2007 release, The Phoenix, was widely lauded by jazz critics and aficionados alike and like Johnson’s previous CDs, it peaked in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Contemporary Jazz charts. Johnson’s next Top 20 Contemporary jazz releases, the unique and multi-faceted Poetically Justified (2009) and This Is How I Rock (2011) solidified Marcus Johnson as heir apparent to the George Duke and Herbie Hancock style of funky urban groove music. Creatively, Johnson continues to evolve as an artist. With the release of his 2012 FLO: Holiday CD and the ongoing collaboration with famed Parisian Producer DJ Pulse – as the musical duo “JURIS” – he has managed to maintain his traditional jazz roots, while also remaining on the forefront of the expanding “Euro Jazz” movement. His music continues to enforce and define his musical legacy as a “jazz movement for all people”.
Johnson is also evolving as an innovative wine expert. He resides in the Metropolitan Washington area and is a new father. His daughter Chase was born on September 12, 2012. Marcus is currently featured weekly on Fox News and is involved with community and charity events, including service on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club. His dynamic career also includes teaching. He served on the faculty of Georgetown University Center For Professional Development in 2007, and taught at Bowie State University from 2008 through 2010, adjunct business development.