Maggie Johnson, Founder/Director
Maggie considers herself the first unofficial
resident artist of JAZZSPACE, as a jazz vocalist whose voice has been compared
to the likes of Billie Holiday and Blossom Dearie. She is grateful for all of
the “Masters” in her life, starting with her late grandmother in particular,
who was a classically trained vocalist, and from whom she learned about her
family’s own jazz legacy, which includes great cousin Eddie South (“The Dark Angel of the
Violin”), among others.
Maggie uncovered her own love for jazz in college, including a short stint
in the vocal jazz program at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Soon after, she
looked to combine this love with her interests in management, sociology, and
leadership as an arts manager. Before landing in Pittsburgh, she worked for
Kennedy Center Jazz, where she had the thrill of her life meeting such artists
as the late, great Dr. Billy Taylor, Shirley Horn, Abbey Lincoln, Houston
Person, Arturo Sandoval, Steve Turre, and many others. Her most significant
experience there was helping to manage the Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead
residency program, one of the inspirations for JAZZSPACE. Her time at the
Kennedy Center was quickly followed by positions in the artistic and education
departments of Washington National Opera.
After completing her Arts Management degree at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz
College, she joined the marketing department of Pittsburgh Opera, eventually
rising to Director of Marketing and Sales. She joined the staff of the Greater
Pittsburgh Arts Council in 2008, spearheading city-wide collaborative marketing
initiatives, such as the Pittsburgh is Art Day of Giving. Other
Pittsburgh non-profits she has worked with include the Community Technical
Assistance Center, MCG Jazz, the August Wilson Center, and Pittsburgh Ballet
Theatre. Finally, she now serves on the faculty of Point Park University's
Sport, Arts & Entertainment Management program.
Maggie was recently honored as a Woman of Excellence by The New
Pittsburgh Courier and is an alumna of Leadership Pittsburgh's LDI XIII
Class. She is a current member of the Jazz Education
Network, representing JAZZSPACE.
Calling all emerging jazz artists of Pittsburgh! Click Apply
below to start your application to the JAZZSPACE program.
Looking for other ways to get involved? Click Support for
great ideas on how you can help bring about “Tomorrow’s Jazz Today.”