Native Washingtonian, ALLYN JOHNSON, is a multi-talented musician, composer, arranger and producer whose trademark sound gives brilliance and fortitude to the art of jazz improvisation. Allyn, a prodigy who began playing piano at the tender age of five, got his start playing piano for the youth choir in his uncle's church. There he honed his inner musical gift.
While a student at the University of the District of Columbia, Allyn was mentored by the late great jazz legend Calvin Jones, a venerable figure in the international jazz community. At UDC, Allyn was the first recipient of the Felix. E Grant Scholarship Award in jazz performance. He graduated magna cum laude from UDC in 1997 with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Studies. Now Allyn has served for more than six years as an adjunct professor of music and assistant director of the Jazz Studies program before succeeding Jones as the director in 2005.
Allyn hopes to continue Jones' rich legacy of service, musicianship and academic excellence. Allyn is one of the nation's most sought after musicians in the jazz community. He is revered by musical giants as well as the "young lions" of his generation. He was chosen for the highly competitive Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in 2001 and returned to teach in the program in 2002.
in 2005 Allyn started an ensemble combining Gospel, Jazz and Classical music called Divine Order. He also has a group called Sonic Sanctuary which may be heard as his trio or small ensemble which ranges from acoustic straight ahead jazz to jazz fusion and funk.
In 2012 Allyn wrote the score for 3 local films.
The first being a short film with the company Young Film Makers of Tomorrow entitled “Broken Records”. Also, a short film by Cheryl Hawkins entitles “Sister Anna” and documentary film by Ada Babino entitled “Snakeskin”.
Allyn has been working for many years as a producer and audio engineer and decided to go back to school in April 2017 to get certification as an audio engineer from Omega Studios School of Applied Recording Arts and Sciences. He now runs his own semi commercial studio in Bowie Md. called Divine Order Studios.
In the Fall of 2018 Allyn was awarded the DC Mayor Arts Award for his work as a Distinguished Artist in the DC area. Allyn makes it his mantra to never rest on his laurels. He continues to push himself as a composer, arranger, artist, engineer and bandleader. Allyn has a growing library of works for ensembles of varying sizes and instrumentation. No matter what configuration Allyn may see or hear him in, you can best believe it will be just "good music for the soul".