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”.
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.
“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.