Capitol Is Set For June 21 Release
Shaun Johnson & The Big Band Experience Push Envelope
With Contempory Songs Born Out of "Big Band Punch"
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — Shaun Johnson wants to give his audience an experience. Whether on stage or with his new project - Shaun Johnson’s Big Band Experience • Capitol (Release date June 21st) - he has his heart set on engaging listeners with contemporary songs born out of a "big band punch.”
Capitol is filled with Shaun's inspirations and energetic big band spirit on songs such as Michael Franti’s “Crazy For You, The Mavericks’ “What You Do To Me,” Ben Rector’s “The Men That Drive Me Places,” and ”Elvis Presley’s “Bossa Nova.” He delivers a powerful version of the superhero theme song, “Spiderman.” He throws in an original called “Who Will Love Me,” (complete with a guest appearance by rap artist, MaLLy) and adds vocal percussion and a cappella harmony to another entitled "Marching Soldiers."
Splitting time between his successful, multi-million selling a cappella group, Tonic Sol-fa, and his Big Band Experience, Johnson is always seeking collaborative musical opportunities. His BBE is a result of that search. It is his distinctive take on big band music - one that bridges the ever widening gap between classic jazz and modern pop.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune said it well: “Shaun Johnson splits the difference between the dulcet urbanity of Michael Bublé and the campy yowl of the Stray Cats’ Brian Setzer. He fronts a brassy octet he dubs Shaun Johnson’s Big Band Experience (he’s also the lead singer in Tonic Sol-fa). A retro nerd of Rat Pack vintage, his performances go for the gut in rousing fashion.”
For Johnson, the BBE opens the door to a one of a kind connection with his quickly growing audience. While working with Tonic Sol Fa certainly is filled with positives, Johnson loves the flexibility of working for the first time with instruments AND instrumentalists. “It’s difficult to explain, but singing with a lot of emotion can be difficult when singing with an a cappella group,” he says. “You are limited by the dependence you have on the other voices and their relative pitch. There’s simply not as much space to move around. With a big band, however, I can focus much more on the emotion of a lyric as well as the divergent talents of the players.”
Attending Saint John's University before settling in Minnesota, Johnson began his career with the nationally recognized vocal group, Tonic Sol-fa. The group has since sold more than 2 million albums independently and has been featured in such publications as Newsweek and on NBC’s The Today Show.
The BBE is no less successful, boasting its own national PBS television special, “The Spirit of the Season,” gracing national stages from the famed Dakota Jazz Club to the Levitt Shell in Memphis, and recently earning a Telly Award for Social Media Marketing.