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Best known for his innovative tuba playing and tuba-centric bands (Substructures, Gravity), the Alabama-born multi-reeds and brass master has worked with many of the greatest figures in jazz, including a more-than 20-year-long association with Gil Evans. Johnson has recorded and performed with dozens of major jazz artists, including Charles Mingus, Archie Shepp, Oliver Nelson, Gerald Wilson, and Duke Ellington. In the mid-1970s he was an arranger and leader of the Saturday Night Live house orchestra, and he has recorded and toured with such popular artists as Taj Mahal, The Band, John Lennon, and Levon Helm. Since 1968 he has performed and recorded regularly with his own groups and has taught clinics and master classes at European and American universities.