Tim Johnson Bio

Tim JohnsonFiddle/Mandolin/Guitar/Vocals

Tim describes his musical style:

I am an eclectic violinist and fiddler and have been influenced by many musicians and composers, ranging from Bach to great jazz violinist Stéphane Grapelli. Over the years, I have blended my experiences of performing classical, jazz, blues, cajun, bluegrass, sacred and gospel repertoire into my own signature of music style. As an artist, my style is to make a conscious effort to stir and inspire my audience when musically communicating with them.

The WMA Has Spoken: “2007 – Instrumentalist of the Year”

Performing with the Sons of the San Joaquin — Jack, Joe, Lon and Bill Thornbury — as fiddler, from 2000-07, was a great experience and one that I treasure. During this period, we performed to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall, collected many awards, such as induction into the Western Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Western Music Associations (WMA) group of the year in 2007. I received the WMA instrumentalist of the year award in 2007 upon the release of my solo fiddle album, “American Fiddler,” in the same year. The fiddle, in Western music, is a critical and powerful instrument, adding color and excitement to the lyrics, and I enjoyed the creativity I experienced while performing with the SSJ and for audiences all over America. I wish them well.

Musical Roots

My mother, Berneice, is a superb church pianist and influenced me in improvisational skills. In contrast, my violin instructor, the late Betty Lacovetti, prepared me from age 8 to perform difficult violin repertoire and a disciplined approach to technique, a critical component in mastery of the violin.Along the way, my father, Howard Johnson, financed my formal instruction and encouraged me. My older brother, Arnie, a superb guitarist, purchased recordings of great jazz, bluegrass, Texas swing and country fiddlers, such as Joe Venuti, Johnny Gimble, Grapelli, Vassar Clements and Hugh Farr, the fiddler with the Sons of the Pioneers.Most importantly, I was afforded the opportunity to perform weekly in church, concert halls, dances. From 1973 to 1976, I was the concert master of the Fresno Junior Philharmonic and later performed with the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra. All of these experiences combined have contributed to my musical identity.

Sons of the San Joaquin

Tim Johnson has been performing music in churches, recitals, rodeos, barn dances, family events, and just about any kind of event one could imagine since the age of eight, winning local and regional music contests as a fiddler and classical violinist. Tim is a versatile musician/songwriter who performs all styles of music on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and bass and is in demand nationally by artists/bands in country, western, gospel, blues, jazz, and rock music genres. From 2000 to 2007, Tim performed nationally, including Carnegie Hall in NYC, NY, with the “Sons of the San Joaquin”.

Tim is the quintessential music educator and holds a B.A. in Business management with an emphasis in the management of music artists. He also holds an M.A. in music education with an emphasis in violin studies and music of the American West from California State University-Fresno. Tim is the founder and music director of the Merced College Orchestra and is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree in music education from Boston University.

Tim Johnson - Brooke Shields

Tim Johnson - Jim Belushi