Jack Johnson: Man of Many Hats and Talents

Jack Johnson: Man of Many Hats and Talents

Hawaii's Native Son Gives Back

Son of famous surfer Jeff Johnson, Jack learned to surf at the age of 5 living on the North Shore of Oahu. At 14 he learned to play guitar with the songs “One” by Metallica and “Father and Son” by Cat Stevens. He was the youngest surfer to be in the Pipeline Invitational Surfing Competition but got a career ending injury at 17 which caused him to lose some of his teeth and several stitches in his face.

He pursued an education in filmmaking at the University of California Santa Barbara and began making surfing films while also playing rhythm guitar for a band called “Soil”.

His films include “Thicker Than Water” and “The September Sessions” which he also produced the soundtracks on; He also starred in the surf film “A Brokedown Melody”. Jack Johnson also produced the soundtrack for the animated film “Curious George” titled “Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies” in 2006.

He got his big break in the music industry when he provided backing vocals for the band G. Love and Special Sauce in their song which he helped write “Rodeo Clowns” in 1999.

Thanks to his surfing peers circulating his original music, he was soon known in circles around the world including France, Australia and South Africa.

Ben Harper introduced Johnson to his producer J.P. Plunier who helped him release a 4 track demo and eventually his debut album “Brushfire Fairytales” in 2001 with Harper playing steel guitar. He eventually started his own recording studio called Mango Tree Studio and recorded his full length album “On and On” in 2003. It was this year that Johnson also formed his own band with studio musicians Adam Topol on drums, Merlo Podlewski on bass and Zach Gill on piano, percussion and background vocals.

Jack found commercial success with the release of “In Between Dreams” which featured chart makers “Better Together”, “Banana Pancakes”, “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing”.

“Sleep Through the Static” was released after the success of his “Curious George” soundtrack in 2008. Johnson, being an advocate for a greener earth, recorded the album with 100% solar energy in Los Angeles. He followed up this album with a world tour which in turn spawned the DVD “En Tour” released in 2009.

Jack spent the majority of 2009 into 2010 on his many charitable causes. He is a strong advocate for a cleaner greener earth, animal rights and Amnesty International. During his 2010 World Tour he donated 100% of his profits to charity. One of the charities he and his family started is called “The Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation” which he and his wife formed after the release of his third album. From 2009 to 2010 they raised over $750,000 which they gave away.

Johnson has managed to stay a family man with his wife and kids, despite being a touring musician, a filmmaker and activist which to most critics is a hard thing to do.

He has also donated $50,000 of profits from his latest album “To The Sea” which was dedicated to his father, to the Japan Tsunami Fund. He and his wife were staying at a hotel in Osaka when the Tsunami hit.