If not prodigious, the path to getting there for Johnny Jensen might then be called phenomenal. Following his Smurf guitar, he was given a toy drum set at the age of four. Quickly thereafter, he showed his versatility by channeling Keith Moon and John Bonham, two of his favorite drummers from two of every four-year-old’s fave bands, The Who and Led Zeppelin. “He loved those drums,” his mother recalls. “He heard a song and he started playing it. It was immediate. And then I began to wonder: are all kids doing this?” She laughs. The answer, of course, is no. “He heard a song and he started playing it. It was immediate. And then I began to wonder: are all kids doing this?” A multi-dimensional artist by the age of five, Johnny would occasionally accept an invitation to join a band playing at Jensen’s Marina in Captiva, or go solo between sets — with one of his first accomplishments Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Pride and Joy” (taking both guitar and vocals). But in his early years as he entered Sanibel School and began to work with its music directors, his first love of percussion took back stage to guitar, where he wowed annual talent show crowds to “Stairway to Heaven” and other favorites. Still playing it all by ear.
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COASTE | ARTIST IN RESIDENCE 13
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