RJ Johnson is a guitarist, composer, and music journalist living in Philadelphia.
My name is RJ Johnson, and I am a jazz guitarist and composer
currently living in Philadelphia. I currently study jazz at the University of
the Arts as a guitar instrumental performance major.
I began playing guitar in 2002, and mostly focused on rock and blues
playing early on. I took lessons at a nearby music store for about 3
years as a beginner. While still studying at this store, one of my
teachers offered me a job teaching lessons; however, I was too young
at the time to do so. This experience began to make me think seriously
about making music my career. I decided to focus on jazz and classical
music while in high school, and have pursued these styles more
exclusively ever since. I began studying with guitarist Carol Hamersma
when my interests shifted toward jazz. Carol refined my basic jazz
skills, but also exposed me to classical guitar technique and repertoire
very early on. While studying with Carol, I also started taking lessons
with guitarist Vic Juris, a well-known veteran of the jazz scene. Vic was
also tremendously helpful as a teacher, and I feel that his lessons were
always unique and informative. After graduating from high school, I was
accepted at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. I received my Bachelors of
Degree from UARTS in 2012. While at the university,
I studied with guitarists Kevin Hanson and Mike Quaile, who were both
excellent players. I received the University’s Presidential Scholarship,
which is the highest merit based scholarship that is given each year.
Once in college, I began trying to further my career outside of school
and lessons by playing gigs frequently around Philadelphia and New
Jersey. Currently, I am working towards fulfilling the requirements to receive his
Master's Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of the Arts.
For lessons, teaching, arrangement work, or anything else you want to
contact me about, you can email me at [email protected] My website
found at www.rjjohnsonguitar.com
Also, check out my personal Tumblr blog based on modern music at