Jazz Pianist/Vocalist, Anna Dagmar Johnson
Anna Dagmar Johnson grew up in Chelmsford, MA and began taking piano lessons and composing music at the age of seven. Despite participating in numerous, nerve-racking, high school classical piano competitions, she learned to relax on stage as keyboardist and back-up vocalist for Boston-area songwriter Meghan Toohey. Following these years, she studied jazz performance and education with a scholarship at the Eastman School of Music, and then moved to her current Manhattan residence.
One More Time in the Air, Anna's debut CD, combines jazz, folk, and pop styles, and draws from influences such as Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, and Jonatha Brooke. Ranging from energetic to introspective, the music conveys crisp harmonies, rich lyrics, and sweeping improvisations. Unique instrumental arrangements color each song.
Anna has performed with many artists including Kenny Wheeler, Peter Erskine, and Bobby McFerrin and has studied improvisation with Harold Danko, Michael Cain, and Bevan Manson. In the spring of 1999, she shared the Eastman Theatre spotlight with Bill Evan's longtime collaborator and harmonica virtuoso Toots Theilemann. Anna has received three Downbeat Awards, including Best Pop Arrangement in 1998.
Her music can be heard on WRUR in Rochester and WICB in Ithaca as part of a women's spotlight called "Eve Outloud." One More Time in the Air was featured in Rochester's Democrat and Chronicle in September 2000. During the past year, Anna performed weekly at The Little Theatre Cafe in Rochester, and recently filmed for Music Zone, a program on Staten Island Community Television. This year she will be playing in venues throughout New York City and teaching songwriting at a high school in Westchester County.