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Johnny Harper is available for performances in a variety of bands/ formats — and also for a variety of other kinds of musical projects. CONTACT him at johnnyharpermusic@gmail or at 510-710-5969, for BOOKINGS or for other musical services.

Johnny Harper & Carnival

High-energy 8-member New Orleans Rhythm & Blues band. Horn section, gospel-soul singers, exciting songs, tight arrangements, a lineup of great professional players with more famous-name credits than you can count. Joyful, danceable – a great time is guaranteed for all! This group is also available in smaller lineups of 4 to 6 members.

Johnny Harper SOLO Performance

Johnny is available for solo shows, perfect for an intimate venue or gathering. Soulful vocals, hot guitar picking, a vast repertoire in many styles (blues, folk, R&B, rock’n’roll, country, and more!), fun and entertaining storytelling.

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DUO: Two Medicines
(Johnny Harper & Deborah Blackburn)

This striking new duet act, which premiered in June 2019, blends Deborah’s gorgeous soprano and jazz vocal stylings with Johnny’s gritty, soulful down-home singing and hot finger-style guitar. It’s a surprising blend that works a magic all its own. Great eclectic repertoire ranging from jazz and pop to blues, gospel, and rock’n’roll. Recordings available soon!


Other Group Formats  

Piano-guitar duo? Vocal trio? Add light drums? Season to taste! A blues program? A full New Orleans street parade (or funeral parade) brass band? A night of great old time rock’n’roll classics? A great-sounding traditional Country band?! A mix of folk favorites and other styles? We can put together so many flavors and combinations – or refer you to other great musicians we know. Let us know what you’re looking for…


Johnny reports: I’ve had a number of clients come to me, especially in recent years, with lyrics they wanted set to music. I pay close attention to what the writer says about what he/ she has in mind for the musical style, and I’m simply being honest when I say that all of these writers have been extremely happy with the music I’ve come up with. In some cases we’ve gone on to make studio recordings of the songs, and again, the clients have been super happy with how those came out. I’ve also written and recorded original music for two highly regarded documentary films and for a play which had a month-long run in San Francisco. Of course, I can help with lyrics too, help you polish lyrics of yours or write lyrics to your music. Examples and references available; rates vary depending on your situation. What are you looking for?

Record Producer  

Johnny is a highly skilled studio producer-arranger with over 20 CDs to his credit — mostly albums by independent singer-songwriters who want great-sounding session players and arrangements when they go to record their songs. Johnny works closely with the artist on developing the arrangements, and can provide suitable studios and great pro session players on any instrument you can name! The project can be anything from a single song to a full album. Don’t hesitate to call and talk about what you have in mind…

Video Producer/Director

In 2020 Johnny directed the nationally distributed topical video for “Rise to the Call” by singer Marie Antoinette.

Years earlier, he produced and directed the full-length Arhoolie concert video It’s Got to Be Rough and Sweet:  the Arhoolie 25th Anniversary Party.

Music Historian/Writer  

Johnny was a co-founder of the world-famous folk-roots record store Down Home Music in El Cerrito CA, did historically focused “Music in America” shows on KPFA-FM for 20 years, taught a course on the evolution of American music styles, and has written published articles on a variety of important musicians. He also has three books in development on musical topics. Available as writer, consultant, teacher… loves to share what he’s learned in a lifetime of studying and working with music.

Guitar Lessons   

Johnny has been teaching a wide range of American guitar styles for 30 years – folk, country, blues, rock’n’roll, soul/R&B, and more! An expert and patient teacher who works with each student on the music they most want to learn. You’ll learn a lot, you’ll have fun! – and you’ll pick up some fascinating facts and stories about the songs and styles you’re learning.

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