Jazz and Commercial Bass Instructor
Part-Time NTT Jazz and Commercial Bass Instructor
Education: B.F.A., M.F.A., California Institute of the Arts
Ivan Johnson, a Los Angeles native who studied music at the California Institute of the Arts, has performed all over the United States with an eclectic range of ensembles, and made his solo debut at the 2003 Athens Music Festival in Athens, Georgia. As a bassist on the progressive music scene, he has premiered compositions by Mark Applebaum, Vinny Golia, Mark Lowenstein, Kris Tiner, and James Tenney. He was the Head of the Jazz program and Director of Summer Studies at the Oakwood High School in Los Angeles for 12 years, and he co-founded the Academy of Creative Music, a summer arts-intensive camp for 4th-12th grade students. He now is the Dean of Student Life and Chair of the Performing Arts Program at Oakwood, where he has focused on designing and leading educators and students through an experiential-based curriculum. As a professional avant-garde artist and musician, creativity and pushing the bounds of what is expected has always been crucial to Ivan’s approach to music and education. While working as an educator, the idea of learning by doing has always been central to Ivan’s pedagogical philosophy. In his journey as a music teacher, he works with his students not only to become proficient in their instrument of choice but to explore the purpose of music.