Performer Interviews, Q & A, and performance excerpts
with founder Stephanie Weisman
Vocal Performer, Sacred Chanter,
Director, Painter, Author, Arts Educator
Thursday, July 2 at 7:30 pm PDT
A conversation around the theme “Voicing the Heart.”
In these troubling times, we are faced with a bombardment of the rhetoric of division, unrest in our communities as a byproduct of racial injustice, and collective reality of a virus that affects all and brings us face to face with the fragility of life and health.
This conversation is about articulating the truth that the greatest opportunity these challenges give us, is the chance to reawaken our hearts to the importance of honoring human life, articulating our shared responsibility to do that which is for the greater good of all and understanding and feeling, more deeply, the hurt and pain burdened upon those who have been the victims of injustice and voicing our collective commitment to transforming our shared reality to a life of true justice and freedom for All. This begins by awakening and Voicing our Hearts.
There will be a short musical performance as well.
The fact that Frederick Johnson has opened for both Aretha Franklin and Dr. Deepak Chopra points to his versatility as an artist. An acclaimed jazz vocalist, author, and arts educator, Fred is a graduate of the National Academy of the Performing Arts as well as the Master Performers School of the National Mime Theater. He has opened for or recorded and toured worldwide with jazz and R& B legends Ramsey Lewis, Chick Corea, Sonny Rollins, Christian McBride, Richard Elliot, George Benson, Boney James, Joe Zawinul, Ottmar Liebert, David Sanborn, B. B. King, Patti LaBelle, Herbie Mann, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderley, and Miles Davis.
He is recognized globally for his work in the health and wellness community and was instrumental in establishing the inspiring “HeArts & Hope” program at the University of Florida. His presentations on the healing power of music have caught the attention of internationally recognized holistic health practitioners and the medical community. Fred presents lectures and seminars all over the world re-accentuating the importance of creative expression as a catalyst for personal and communal empowerment, health and healing, and giving voice to the voiceless.
Mentored by masters of the African oral and percussion legacy, Fred has been hailed as one of the true guardians of an oral tradition transplanted and nurtured to create a fusion of cultural heritage that is uniquely American and inherently African. His global presentations of “Jazz, it’s Roots and Branches” has served to inform and inspire audiences around the world to recognize and celebrate a creative global tapestry set by the first woven thread sown from the artistic richness of Africa. His fifty years of experience as an artist, arts administrator, and educator has uniquely equipped him to be poised to both create structure and artistically inspire. Fred currently serves as Artist in Residence, Community Engagement Specialist, and Director of the Arts and Health initiative at The David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Florida. He was the first artist to perform at the Straz Center when it opened in 1987 and served as the Vice President of Education and Humanities from 1996 to 2005. His return to Tampa Bay after 15 years of international travel welcomes the opportunity to again add to the richness of the arts legacy of The Performing Arts Center and the Tampa cultural community.