Kurt G. Johnson


    Kurt Johnson is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, session musician, and educator. Though he has been teaching privately for nearly a decade, Kurt continues to be a dedicated student of contemporary, traditional, and ethnic music. Kurt began as a drummer, and soon after began playing the guitar. In 2000, he began an intense study of British blues guitar and jazz piano with Alfred University faculty Ken Maracek and Peter O’Connor, respectively. Kurt has since continued jazz guitar studies with Bob Sneider (Eastman School of Music), Craig Snyder (Finger Lakes Community College), and Mike Denny (University of Oregon).

        In 2008, Kurt dedicated the year to studying Hindustani North Indian Classical Music with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California. He focused on the melodicism and rhythmic elements of traditional Indian music, applying them to the Hindustani slide guitar, vocals, and tabla.

        Kurt has also studied pedal steel and dobro with Gordon Stone, and the African mbira with Zimbabwean mbira master Musekiwa Chingodza. He continues to study and perform mbira music with Mbira dzeMugomo Guru (The Eastman Mbira Group). Over the past several years, Kurt has taken master classes with various jazz legends including David Liebman, Slide Hampton, and David Baker, as well as with contemporary music giants like Kenny Werner, David Friesen, Fred Hamilton, and Corey Christiansen.

        As with any artistic endeavor, the issue of “genre” and “classification” arises. As a passionate learner and current student in the academic field of Ethnomusicology, Kurt does not limit himself, or those he teaches or performs with, to the confines of a specific genre. He recognizes the healing properties of music and approaches music as the ultimate place of creativity. He views music as a universal language – an ever-evolving Lingua Franca.
        He is dedicated to achieving a sense of community, both locally and globally, through the language of music. Kurt constantly strives to bring sincerity and a fresh perspective to his musical experiences. This is often achieved by employing unorthodox methods to coax new sounds from his instruments.

Gear used with The Moho Collective


Fender Telecaster - 1952 Reissue (heavily cutomized by K-Robin Guitars)
Gibson SG - 1961 Reissue (slightly customized)
Washburn Strat Copy – Nashville Tuning
Sho-Bud Maverick S-10 Pedal Steel (late 70's)
Epiphone Zephyr 6-String Lapsteel (1939)
Amps and Speakers

NAU Tantillo Special (Head) - built by John Nau of NAU Engineering
Mesa Boogie 1x12 Cab with Black Shadow Speaker
Gibson Discoverer GA-8T (1958)
Leslie Model 120 with an Eminence Red Coat speaker (1968)
Pedals and Effects

Line 6 DL4 - Delay and Loop
Boss PS-5 - Pitch Shifter
Redwtich Fuzz God II
Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer
Ernie Ball VP Jr. Volume Pedals


A plethora of Found Objects and Noise Makers
Boss Sampler – Dr. Sample SP-202
Boss TU-12 Tuner
Monster Pro 2500 Power Conditioner

Proffesional Affiliations

SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers)

SEM (Society for Ethnomusicology)
PSGA (Pedal Steel Guitar Association)
RCSM (Rochester Contemporary School of Music)