The Direct Gov Youth Drumming program is an initiative of Johanna.
Native of Massachusetts, recent graduate of Berklee College of Music (in Boston) with her Bachelors in Professional Music and Drumming. Her major was a self designed one with emphasis in songwriting, and Music for children (both in therapy and entertainment). Upon entering Berklee, Johanna was a vocalist with the New England Conservatory Preparatory school choir for 4 years, studying with Conductor Geoffrey Dana Hicks, a piano student of Penny MacCallum (Hamilton, MA), and played oboe and clarinet in a variety of High School ensembles under the direction of Gerry Dolan. Coming to Berklee sparked a desire and genuine talent in songwriting while self-accompanying herself on piano and guitar.
Studying with great songwriters, Pat Pattison, Jon Aldrich and Livingston Taylor grew an interest in writing music as a profession. Attending a variety of clinics with well known performing artists such as: John Mayer, Kathy Mattea, Jimmy Buffet, Raffi and more…opened her eyes to the Music Business and inspired her to take the next step after Berklee and dive into music as a Career. Johanna performs her original folkie/pop styles at various open mics and small bar venues, but it is her love for entertaining children that has gotten her the most attention. She is in demand for playing at Preschools (such as A Bright Beginning, in Rowley, MA) and outdoor festivals around Massachusetts. Her love for children’s song writing was taken to the next level this past year when she got a job writing an original score for an Americorps (Cape Cod division) Puppet Show. This was a hired job, sponsored by the great Jimmy Buffet, where Johanna took a prewritten script and wrote specific songs and verses for individual puppet characters, a show to teach children about recycling. The main song ‘I Love You’ became an immediate hit among its listeners and continues to spread an educational message to children on the East coast as the puppet show tours the South Shore and Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Her talents as a songwriter were shining through this project, and she had a new task of setting up the recording sessions, musicians and engineers to make it all possible.
Taking on the new job as Producer was really exciting for her and she hopes to continue that aspect of music production in the near future. Johanna’s musical style is extremely diverse. Growing up listening to the sounds of her Dad’s Country Western band and a love for traditional folk music and Americana comes through in her writing, while infusing a more eclectic sound taking from the Afro-cuban percussion classes she attended at Berklee and most recently a love for West African styles. After graduating Berklee with Honors, Johanna immediately left to study abroad in Ghana with a group of peers that shared the same passion for West African drumming and dancing. This life changing experience was unforgettable and having the opportunity to study with some of Ghana’s top dancers and master drummers has left a lasting impression on her music and life style.