Sean is a Passionate, Creative and Dynamic Musician, Bandleader & Composer
Sean has over a decade of experience playing with big bands and ensembles. His performance credits include Jazz @ Lincoln Center, Monterey Jazz Festival, Festival Miami and the Blue Whale, to name a few. He has received a host of music accolades and has worked closely with many of the industry's finest, including Terence Blanchard, Nicole Mitchell, Jason Palmer, Fabian Almazan, John Hart, Dafnis Prieto, Vijay Iyer and Brice Winston, among others.
He began studying composition in high school with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s nationally recognized Young Composers Project. At the Frost School of Music he studied with Grammy award-winning arranger, Gary Lindsay and went on to study composition with Martin Bejerano and MacArthur Genius Dafnis Prieto. Since graduating from the University of Miami, Sean has relocated to the "City Different": Santa Fe, NM.
Sam Neufeld, Trumpet
Tom Kelley, Alto & Soprano Saxophones
Sean Johnson, Tenor Saxophone
Nick Lamb, Piano
Jon Dadurka, Upright & Electric Basses
Johnathan Hulett, Drums
Produced by Sean Johnson
Executive Producer: Dafnis Prieto
Engineered & Mixed by Chris Palowitch
Mastered by Will Dyar, Hills Audio
Art Direction: BSIDE Graphics
Originally formed as the seminal Dafnis Prieto Artist Prieto Ensemble at the Frost School of Music, accordingly, the ensemble principally performed original material and Prieto’s own musical works. Having formed close ties with their mentor and leader, and strong musical bonds as a unit, the group reorganized as a professional ensemble under the moniker Kairos Sextet.
In September 2016, Kairos cut its first commercial recording project, Transition, with Prieto as executive producer. The studio session was book-ended by Kairos’s first multi-city tour with performances in Miami, San Francisco Bay Area, Monterey, and Los Angeles, with appearances at several high-profile venues including two stage performances at the Monterey Jazz Festival and a live-filmed performance at the Blue Whale.
Kairos is comprised of a few of the Frost School of Music’s most star-studded alumni: on alto and soprano saxophone, Tom Kelley, a 2012-2013 Brubeck Fellow and award-winning composer; on trumpet Sam Neufeld, winner of the 2015 National Trumpet Competition - Jazz Division; on tenor saxophone, Sean Johnson, the ensemble's leader and producer of Kairos Sextet’s first record; pianist and keyboardist, Nick Lamb, a recipient of 10 DownBeat Student Music Awards and a host of music accolades; upright and electric bassist, Jon Dadurka, Director of Jazz Studies at Broward College; and drummer Johnathan Hulett, a 2013 Yamaha Young Performing Artist competition winner and recipient of 7 DownBeat Student Music Awards.
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- Michael Roberts
"The excitement of Transition...comes from the way the recording fuses youthful energy with a sense of discipline and intelligence that keeps the intriguing form first step to last."
All About Jazz
- Troy Dostert
"A terrific release that is likely to end up on many "best debut" lists for 2018, Transition is well-named, as it signals the arrival of a promising group truly finding its own path."
- Felipe Freitas
"The sextet proves to have that desirable rapport that allows them to scintillate with creativity. Each individual statement feels hand-in-glove with the written material and [Dafnis] Prieto has all the reasons to be flattered and proud of this band."
- George W. Harris
"Modern and sophisticated. Strong and virule."
- Doug Ramsey
"[Kairos Sextet has] evolved into an ensemble whose solo abilities and big collective sound put them in the first rank of contemporary groups."
All About Jazz
- Mike Jurkovic
"With each track highlighting a tightly wound arrangement, Transition is a sure-fire winner and harbinger of greater things to come."