Pennal Johnson is a Bassist, writer and entrepreneur from Chicago’s West Side, Illinois. He began playing bass guitar at the age of 8 years old. His cousin, a store-front preacher at the time, bought a bass guitar and a keyboard for his son to play. Since the bass guitar wasn’t an interest of his son, he passed it on to Pennal. Though the instrument was much larger than he was, Pennal had no problems sliding his fingers up and down the neck to find the proper notes. It was during a time of practicing with his cousins that he realized he could play by ear, by hearing a note played on the keyboard and he was able match it with his bass. This was the beginning of a beautiful thing.
While attending Hugh Manley High School in Chicago, Pennal learned to read music and to go on and sharpen his bass playing skills. In sophomore year he was selected to be a part of Manley’s Jazz band. From there he was selected to be the bass player for The Chicago All-City Jazz Band from 1984 to 1987. During this time Pennal received numerous awards which include “The Outstanding Soloist Award” at the Midwest Jazz Festival and “Outstanding Musician of the Year” from All City Jazz Band of Chicago.
After High school Pennal started playing professionally around the Chicago area and Gospel recording artist Rev. Jessy Dixon asked him to become the full-time bass player for him and his choir. It was Rev. Dixon, who taught Pennal showmanship and how to be a professional musician. This position provided him with the opportunity to perform with the talents of Andre and Sandra Crouch, Kurt Carr and Abraham Laboriel.
Currently Pennal is the bassist for Lubriphonic (Rock, Funk, and Hard Soul Band) and currently touring the USA. When not touring he’s doing clinics and studio sessions.
Pennal’s concept is simply to have FUN!!!