Hello, my name is Karen Washington Johnson. First, I want to say thank you to Lanard for sharing this idea for this wonderful event that is about to become a reality, and for allowing me to be a part of it. I always enjoy hearing him play his trumpet and I am excited about the Christmas Jubilee Jam.
Coming from a family that loves music and sang all of the time, music became a source of comfort for me. As a little girl, I did not realize how important it would be to my future. I just wanted to sing everything that came on the radio; country western, pop, soul, gospel it did not matter to me.
I would try to sing like different artists like the Supremes and Aretha Franklin just for fun until I discovered that I had a style of my very own. I would take the brush and make it my microphone and sing my heart out.
At the age of 10 I sang my first solo for a PTA meeting at Williams Elementary school. The name of song was “A Little Brown Bird Singing.” It was my first time on a stage and I was terrified, but my mother was so proud of me. I have always sung in the church choir and with our family group “The Washington Sisters.”
I attended Bethune-Cookman College where I had the opportunity to be a member of the Concert Chorale when my brother-n-law, Mr. Delano Filer, Sr. thought that if he took me to meet the choir director, Dr. Demps; surely he would give me a scholarship. That’s exactly what happened. After a year I returned to Gainesville to attend Santa Fe Community College where I landed my first acting role as Lutie Bell in the Broadway musical “Purlie Victorious.”
I enjoy leading praise and worship at my church, Champions Ministries each Sunday and singing for weddings, concerts and a variety of special events. I am looking forward to seeing you at the “Christmas Jubilee Jam”.
Karen was one of a small group of people that I first talked to about Christmas Jubilee Jam and moving forward with the idea. In addition to being a wonderful singer she's a fine person.
In my younger years I teased myself with the idea of her joining one of my bands, but my musical venues were secular and hers was church based, so the connection was rarely made in that way; but when it did it was usually magical.
Interestingly, her musical interest has now expanded to the point of wanting to sing and perform more jazz. I have a song in mind that will blend her various interests in a pleasing way. Lanard