Guitarist Wayne Johnson

Wayne Johnson is an American Jazz and acoustic guitarist.

Taken from Wikipedia and the artist home page

Adaptation by Toni Basanta in Fairfax, Vermont, USA

Not to be confused with the electric blues guitarist Wayne Johnson, or the gospel singer / guitarist Donald Wayne Johnson, or the flamenco guitarist Wayne Wesley Johnson, or the hard rock guitarist from the band Under Command named Wayne Johnson, or the pianist Wayne Johnson). Johnson won a Grammy Award in 2004 for his contribution to the album Pink Guitar, which featured the songs of composer Henry Mancini.[1][2]

Johnson grew up in Spokane, Washington where he studied guitar under Jack C. Campbell, a pioneer in the chord-melody guitar technique.

He attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music in the late 1970s and soon after joined the vocal group Manhattan Transfer for more than 20 years.

To date, he has recorded eight solo albums, most often in a Trio with bassist Jimmy Johnson and drummer Bill Berg, who were founding members of the group Flim & the BB’s.

He has been the guitarist for Bette Midler’s Las Vegas show at Caesar’s Palace.

Johnson has performed worldwide with numerous other artists, including Rickie Lee Jones, Elton John, John Tesh, Akiko Yano and Lee Oskar.

He is a music educator and instructor and serves as a clinician for Taylor Guitars.


2004 Grammy Award Winner Wayne Johnson, joined the Pop / Jazz Vocal Group, Manhattan Transfer, after attending Berklee College of Music in the late 70’s.

Since then, Wayne has taken plenty of time off from the gig to keep his solo interests alive.

Wayne’s “Trio”, with Bill Berg on drums and Jimmy Johnson on bass, has also been performing and recording since the late 70’s.

With six Trio recordings and two solo acoustic CDs to his credit, Wayne has also recorded and performed with an eclectic group of artists in addition to The Manhattan Transfer.

During the last 5 year hiatus from the M.T.,  Wayne performed & recorded with Rickie Lee Jones for two years and opened as a solo acoustic act for John Tesh for 2 years.

In addition to recording many sessions for a variety of artists, he toured and recorded with Japanese Pop/ Jazz artist Akiko Yano as well as Lee Oskar of  “War”.

Wayne, along with other label mates on Solid Air Records won the coveted Grammy at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards in Feb. 2005 for “Pop Instrumental Album of the Year”.

The recording, “Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar”, produced by James Jensen, is a tribute to Mancini and consists of all acoustic solo guitar renditions of each artist’s favorite Mancini song.

In 2005, Taylor Guitars asked Wayne to come on board as a Taylor clinician. This prestigious position, held only by a handful of guitarists, will have him on the road performing concerts and teaching, introducing Taylor’s newest line of instruments to guitarists all over the world.

Recently relocated to North County San Diego, Wayne concentrates on writing, recording and teaching.

Although he keeps a busy schedule with the Manhattan Transfer, his main focus is new material for performance and education. Wayne still plays with the original members of his Trio, and has added Don Grusin on Keyboards and Charlie Bisharat on violin into the mix when performing in the LA area.

In San Diego, Wayne has a new “garage” band for writing and performing locally.

When he is off the road and not performing live, Wayne produces music for a variety of situations and is a guest instructor at M.I.T. (Musician’s Institute of Technology) and L.A.M.A. (Los Angeles Music Academy).

Wayne’s latest solo acoustic venture, “One Guitar”, was released in September of 2003 on Solid Air Records. It is an excursion into adventurous solo acoustic playing with the addition of tapping and hitting the guitar, using a variety of specialized techniques in an improvisational manner, so as to resemble interplay with a real percussionist.

The CD was listed # 2 out of the top 20 acoustic guitar recordings to own by Jazziz Magazine. Check it out at

W J Trio, solo & related recordings:

“Henry Mancini, Pink Guitar” 2004 Solid Air Records

“One Guitar” (acoustic guitar  solos) 2003 Solid Air Records

“Apache” guitar Duo w Jeff Richman 2000, Miramar Recordings

“Kindred Spirits” (solo acoustic) 1996 GTSP / Polygram Records

“MoJazz Christmas Album” 1995, MoJazz / Motown Records

“Grasshopper” (Re-release-trio ) 1994, MoJazz / Motown Records

“Keeping the Dream Alive” (trio) 1993, MoJazz / Motown Records

“Spirit of the Dancer” (trio) 1988, Zebra / MCA Records

“Everybody’s Painting Pictures” (trio) 1985, Zebra Records

“Grasshopper” (trio) 1983, I.P.I. Records

“Arrowhead” (trio) 1980, Inner City Records


I read his name for the first time in the album BRASIL recorded by THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER in 1987.

Yesterday, SUNDAY July 9th 2017,  he was in my radio show THE CUBAN BRIDGE @ WWPV 92.5 FM “The Mike” with THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER  in the album “COULDN’T BE HOTTER”  recorded live at Orchestra Hall in Tokyo, Japan.

JOHNSON plays all the styles of American Music and beyond

Thanks to him and other great Masters, we received HUNDREDS of Hits on the web !





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