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MOLLY JOHNSON

Molly Johnson’s voice has created waves in blues, jazz and rock for nearly 20 years. Warm and fluid, it fully captivates audiences whether in good company (rock band Alta Moda in the eighties, the Juno-winning Infidels in the nineties) or on its own, breathing life into old classics and introducing new material.

Molly Johnson, the vibrant personality behind the monumental voice, is a Canadian treasure. Poised and compelling, she has filled the Paris Olympia, headlined the first Main Stage concert at the Canada Trust Toronto Jazz Festival's 20th anniversary, and opened for iconic jazz and blues figures Ray Charles, B.B. King, and Canadian jazz hero Oscar Peterson.

The proud mother of two children, Johnson consistently charms fans and press with her quick wit and disarming honesty. When likened to Billie Holiday (on account of both voice and impeccable cheekbones), she quickly asserts, “I’m not like Billie– I’m because of Billie.”

She counts Holiday, as well as Duke Ellington and George Gershwin as people who have influenced her music. Her parents have also had a profound impact on Johnson. Both social activists, they instilled in their daughter a strong sense of social responsibility. In 1976, her mother Suzanne Johnson-Harvor co-founded MATCH, an international development organization dedicated to educating and empowering women.

Johnson regularly uses her extraordinary voice to cry out for those who suffer. In 1992, she established the Kumbaya Foundation for victims of HIV/AIDS. The foundation uses awareness programs to wipe out misconceptions surrounding HIV/AIDS, and cares for people living with the virus. Since its inception, Kumbaya has raised over $1 million, and has expanded into an annual festival of music, art and education. The event is televised by MuchMusic, and involves some of Canada’s most celebrated musicians.

Molly Johnson supports get loud and War Child Canada. Other organizations and campaigns that Molly has been involved with include: 

  • Standing as a key supporter of author/activist June Callwood's efforts to establish the city's first AIDS hospice, Casey House, in 1988; 
  • Performed at the Nov 29, 2004, UrbanAIDS concert in Toronto, which raised awareness, funding and support for millions of women and children around the globe suffering from HIV/AIDS. 
  • Spokesperson for UNESCO, focusing on youth and literacy with a key emphasis being placed on education as the key to positive change. 
  • Performed at Canadian Landmine Foundation benefit concert to raise awareness and funds to end the human and economic suffering caused by anti-personnel landmines. 
  • Molly’s mother, Ms. Suzanne Johnson-Harvor, co-founded MATCH International (http://www.matchinternational.org) in 1976, an organization that works in partnership with groups in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and South America towards the empowerment of women and the practical enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms through civil, political, economic, social and cultural justice.

To learn more about Molly Johnson’s philanthropic contributions, please visit http://www.mollyjohnson.com/charity.htm.


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