b. Canada. The Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based Johnson is one of the most promising jazz vocalists to emerge in the new millennium.
Her career began at a young age, and led to performances across North America, as well as formal training at both the National Ballet School of Canada and the Banff School of Fine Arts. Johnson then landed in an obscure 80s art-rock outfit, Alta Moda, before joining another group, Infidels, during the early 90s. It was also during this time that Johnson began supplying backing vocals to a variety of Canadian rock artists, including Helix, Jeff Healey, and Tom Cochrane. Despite these musical detours, Johnson kept returning to her true love, jazz, as she eventually became one of Canada’s top singers of the genre, playing some of the country’s most prestigious venues, and opening shows for artists such as Ray Charles and B.B. King. With her career beginning to take flight, Johnson somehow found the time to also focus on charitable causes, as she founded the Kumbaya Foundation (and later, the Kumbaya Festival), which raises money for the care of those diagnosed with AIDS and HIV. In 2000 the release of Johnson’s solo debut, Molly Johnson, was followed two years later with Another Day. The latter album possessed more of a ‘live’ feel, owing in part to the presence of the singer’s touring band - multi-instrumentalist/singer Colleen Allen, pianist Andrew Craig, bass player Mike Downes, and drummer Mark McLean.