Erik Johannessen was born July 22th 1975 in Oslo, Norway. Grew up on Lambertseter in the suburbs.
Started playing trombone at eight and piano at ten, and decided early to be a musician. Started playing jazz at sixteen, and played in his early twenties in bands like [Soundslashnoise] and The Beauties & The Beast with norwegian pop star Bertine Zetlitz. Soon he joined the Norwegian/Polish collaboration Loud Jazz Band and toured Poland many times, and has to date released five CDs.
Studied music at high school at Foss (1991-1994), and studied at University of Oslo with a degree in music (1995- 1996) and literature (1996-1997), went on to study jazz at the conservatory of Trondheim (2001-2005), with trombone teacher Helge Førde and other teachers like John Pål Inderberg, Erling Aksdal and m.m. Started there playing in bands like Big Spirit People, Happy House, and Magic Pocket.
Joined Trondheim Jazz Orchestra for a number of projects with soloists and composers like Eirik Hegdal, Maria Kannegård, Joshua Redman, Terje Rypdal, Bednik Hofseth, Jon Balke, Kobert m.m. He got the JazZtipendiat award (2009) with the brass quartet Magic Pocket and composed music and played at Molde International Jazz Festival 2010 with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, which resulted in the CD Kinetic Music(2011). Magic Pocket has also released the CD Katabatic Wind (2011).
Moved back to Oslo starts playing in Jaga Jazzist in 2005 (still going) touring Europe a number of times. They have also played in Singapore, Japan and USA with great success. Released their album One-Armed Bandit in 2010, and won a norwegian grammy (Spellemannsprisen).
He started working as a freelance musician and has participated in many projects and played on a lot of pop songs, with artists like Susanne Sundfør, Dum Dum Boys, Jim Stärk, Thom Hell, Jonas Alaska, Maria Mena, Jens Carelius, Raga Rockers, Lindstrøm & Christabelle and many more.
Started the trio Lord Kelvin who has released two CD’s, Dances In the Smoke and Radio Has No Future.
Johannessen joined Ensemble Denada and won a German grammy with the CD Finding Nymo released on ACT 2009.
In 2009 he started a trio in his own name with Erik Nylander on drums and Jon Rune Strøm on Double bass, and released the album Inkblots (2012) on the label Gigafon.
His main bands these days are Jaga Jazzist, Lord Kelvin, Magic Pocket and Loud Jazz Band.