Richard Johnson of Mardi Gras JB has passed at 96

Richard JohnsonRICHARD JOHNSON, 96, on Sept. 17 in Sacramento. A professional musician since 1938, he played trumpet, clarinet, and tuba and was a member of a military marching band while serving in the Army.

Well-respected by his peers, but known as a tough taskmaster, he was the longtime leader of the Mardi Gras JB. He was a former president of the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society, and a founding member of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. For a short period was music director for Spike Jones.

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Lew Shaw started writing about music as the publicist for the famous Berkshire Music Barn in the 1960s. He joined the West Coast Rag almost thirty years ago and has been a guiding light to this paper through the two name changes since then as we became The Syncopated Times.  47 of his profiles are collected in Jazz Beat: Notes on Classic Jazz. Volume two, containing profiles from 2013-2016 will be available on Amazon soon. He taps his extensive network of connections and friends throughout the traditional jazz world to bring us his Jazz Jottings column every month.

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