Matt Johnson (US)
#Jet Set Quintet, Drum Set Studies - Fullerton College, Jane Lynch, The Tony Guerrero Quintet

Paiste Artist Since Jul 1996


13" Signature Traditionals Medium Light Hi-Hat
16" Signature Traditionals Thin Crash
11" Signature Traditionals Thin Splash
20" Signature Traditionals Medium Light Ride
20" Signature Traditionals Medium Light Swish


Considered one of Southern California's most versatile drummers, The Los Angeles Times proclaimed Matt Johnson is “a hurricane on sticks!” and “His brush work recalls the footwork of a great dancer.”

Best known for his jazz stylings, Johnson is equally versed in all forms of pop drumming and has performed with a range of entertainers from singers Julie Andrews and Andy Williams to Surf-rock pioneers Jan and Dean to big band legends Billy May and Les Brown. His extensive list of credits includes radio and television “jingles,” TV and film soundtracks, jazz recordings as a sideman and leader, as well as countless live performances on national and international stages. Modern Drummer Magazine said Johnson possesses “captivating technique and creativity."

But Johnson’s talents don’t lie in performance alone. He is also a gifted teacher who, since 1993, has worked to inspire the next generation of young drummers as part of the music faculty of Fullerton College www.fullcoll.edu and the Idyllwild Arts Academy’s Summer Jazz Camp www.idyllwildarts.org. One student’s recent entry on Ratemyprof.com said of Professor Johnson, “discipline and control dominate his playing and teaching. . . personality and charisma bring students back again and again.”

That same personality and charisma has helped to make Johnson an in-demand guest speaker at numerous music educator conventions. He has presented his popular performance/lecture So Many Drummers, So Little Time and What to Play When the Drum Chart Says “Latin” for the annual gatherings of the California Music Educators Association, Arizona Music Educators Association and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, among others. Johnson furthers his visibility in the music education community by serving as Vice President of Operations for Forum Music Festivals www.forummusicfestivals.com – a company committed to producing positive performance and music education experiences for young musicians.

Johnson is a member of the American Federation of Musicians, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Percussive Arts Society and is on the artist roster of Paiste Cymbals www.paiste.com and Aquarian Drumheads www.aquariandrumheads.com.

Matt Johnson and his family live in Southern California – just steps from the ocean, where he enjoys surfing with his two teenagers.

Social Media:
Twitter: @drummermattj