Johnny Venom has been immersed in music since childhood. His grandmother was an accomplished concert pianist and music teacher at Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA and his mother is a flautist and music teacher in Maine. After studying piano as a youth he began playing guitar. In 2003 Venom received his Bachelors Degree in Contemporary Music Performance and Composition from the College Of Santa Fe in New Mexico. While in Santa Fe he fronted several different jazz, rock and fusion groups and continued his studies with private instruction from Bruce Dunlap (guitar) and Gary Willis (bass).
In 2006 Venom returned to Portland where he has become a bass player in high demand. Averaging nearly 200 gigs a year, he performs regularly with his own reggae group East Wave Radio which released their debut album “Soulful Noise” in April 2009. He also freelances for other Portland bands and is currently in the studio working on a new project as well as a follow-up for East Wave. In addition to electric bass, Venom plays guitar, upright bass, mandolin, piano and also sings.
Beyond Johnny Venom’s formal training, his busy performance schedule and experience as a full time working bass player and guitarist add an important focus to his teaching, giving his students the training and tools to excel not only in the classroom but in the real-world playing situations as well.