An Oklahoma City native, Johnny Hodges started his musical journey at the ripe old age of nine. He started playing violin originally but found that trumpet was the instrument he was really meant to play by the end of his 5th grade year. He went on to help his high school jazz ensemble win the state competition 3 out of the 4 years he was there and then attended Central State University on the coveted Alumni Scholarship. That was where his knowledge of the trumpet and his appreciation of jazz really took off.
Johnny spent time in and around the Oklahoma City area freelancing and then in 1991 went out to perform on the Crown Princess for Princess Cruise Lines. He then moved to Carnival Cruise Lines where he spent the next 11 years, ending his time there as the Senior Musical Director in the fleet.
Over the years, Johnny has been lucky enough to perform with many different musical greats in many different fields such as Paul Anka, The Temptations, The O-Jays, Clark Terry, Doc Severnson, Dennis Edwards, Diane Schuur, Joe Williams, KoKo Taylor, Flashpoint, Roy Clark, Roger Ingram, Greg Gisbert, and Michelle Ramos.
Johnny was also fortunate enough to perform for 2 Presidents and the Senate and the House of Representatives. He has performed on Broadway and did a national tour of “Bye Bye Birdie performing in 41 states. Johnny also played lead trumpet on the premier of a brand new musical entitled “Steppin’ out” written by Kevin McAfee. It was one of only three performances allowed in President’s Park each year. Johnny has worked with Mr. McAfee on several recording projects since then.
Johnny is currently the Assistant Conductor at the Big Apple Circus and freelances around the NYC and Orlando, Fl. Areas. Recently he performed at the famous “Wolf Trap” in Virginia with the musical legend Paul Anka.
Johnny is a newly minted Sonare Trumpet Artist and is looking forward to clinics and concerts world wide for the company.
“The Sonare trumpet is truly a work of art. It allows me the freedom to really play with a full range of dynamics and emotion. It has amazing response and it slots incredibly well in the upper register. I attribute this to the wonderful craftsmanship and the unique Lead Pipe design by Blackburn. After having visited the factory, I can say full well that each horn is put together meticulously and then play tested. It was a pleasure to see that kind of pride going into each horn and it certainly shows in the end product. It is a great horn and is one of the most versatile instruments I have ever played, bar none.”
TRC – 800B