Keith Johnson Faculty Profile

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Keith  Johnson

Wind Ensemble Director

Department of Music

Keith Johnson serves as Director of Bands at El Cerrito High School and lecturer of music at California State University, East Bay as conductor of the CSUEB Wind Ensemble. A San Francisco Bay Area native, his career as a music educator spans two decades with experience at the middle school, high school, and collegiate levels. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and a Master of Arts degree in music education with an emphasis in wind conducting from San José State University.

Keith has been the recipient of various teaching honors that include the El Cerrito High School Teacher of the Year (2020), CMEA Bay Section’s Outstanding Jazz Educator Award (2018), KRON 4 Teacher of the Week (2016), CMEA Bay Section’s Outstanding Music Educator Award (2014), and the West County Ed Fund’s Teaching Excellence Award (2014). in 2014 he was also recognized as the West Contra Costa Teacher of the year. Groups under his direction have received multiple awards and performed across the United States and Europe in venues that include Carnegie Hall in New York, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and at several international jazz festivals including Jazz á Vienne and the Montruex, North Sea, Umbria, Victoria, and Monterey jazz festivals.

Since arriving to El Cerrito High School in 2009, the ECHS Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble have been featured ensembles at the California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC) in 2014, 2018, and 2024. Prior to joining ECHS, Keith held positions as jazz director at Portola Middle School in El Cerrito, CA and later director of the Jazzschool Young Musicians Program at the California Jazz Conservatory. As program director at the CJC, Keith founded and directed the award-winning Jazzschool Studio Band, recipient of four national Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards and winner of the “Large Jazz Ensemble” category in 2011.

In addition to his teaching commitments Keith works frequently as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor throughout Northern California and has served on the boards of several professional music education organizations including the California Music Educators Association (CMEA), California Alliance for Jazz (CAJ), and is a Past President of CMEA Bay Section. 

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