Songwriters I-L

Joe Jackson

JJ Arizona July 1982 David Gans

Born David Ian Jackson on 11 August 1954 in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK, JJ is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who, as a teenager, won a scholarship to London’s Royal Academy of Music. He was popular early on for his pop/rock and new wave music before moving to more eclectic pop/jazz/classical hybrids. JJ released his debut album Look Sharp! in 1979 and, the same year, I’m The Man. He has had five Grammy Award nominations. He lives now in Berlin.

Antonio Carlos “Tom” Jobim


Born Antonio Carlos Brasileiro de Almeida Jobim, on 25 January 1927 in Rio de Janeiro (died 8 December 1994), ACJ was a songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, pianist and guitarist, who was one of the most important songwriters of the 20th century. Many of his songs have become jazz standards. He and Joao Gilberto are credited with the creation of Bossa nova in the 1950s, and its introduction to the world with the release of Getz/Gilberto (1963). He is widely known as the composer of The Girl from Ipanema, one of the most recorded songs of all time. He was awarded a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 Grammys.

Matt Johnson

MJ Getty

Matt Johnson, born 15 August 1961 in East London, is an English singer-songwriter and musician best known as the vocalist and only constant member of his band The The. He released a debut solo album, Burning Blue Soul, in 1981 to critical acclaim. The The released its debut album Soul Mining in 1983. MJ  is also a film soundtrack composer (Cineola), publisher (Fifty First State Press), broadcaster (Radio Cineola), and conservationist/local activist.

Robert Johnson


Born Robert Leroy Johnson in Hazlehurst, Mississippi, 8 May, 1911 (died near Greenwood, Mississippi, 16 August, 1938), RJ was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians.

Johnson's shadowy and poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend. As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first induction ceremony, in 1986, as an early influence on rock and roll. In 2003, Johnson was ranked fifth in Rolling Stone magazine's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

Paul Kelly


Born Paul Maurice Kelly on 13 January 1955 in Adelaide, South Australia, PK is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player. Acknowledged as one of Australia’s best singer-songwriters, his music style has ranged from bluegrass to studio-oriented dub-reggae but his core output comfortably straddles folk, rock and country. He released his debut album, Talk, in 1981.

Lianne La Havas


Born Lianne Charlotte Barnes in London, England on 23 August 1989, LLH is a soul and jazz singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She cites her parents’ diverse musical tastes as the biggest influence on her music. Her father, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, taught her the basics of guitar and piano. She started singing, aged 7 and wrote her first song, aged 11. Her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough, was released in 2012.

Greg Laswell


Born in Long Beach, California, 26 April, 1974, GL is a musician, songwriter,  recording engineer and producer who plays acoustic guitar and piano. After graduating from Point Loma Nazarene University, he was front-man for San Diego-based band Shillglen. His debut solo album, Good Movie (2003), was self-produced and self-released on his own label All The Best Records. He has since released five albums on Vanguard Records. Many of his songs have been featured in films and U.S. television shows. In 2011, he and Ingrid Michaelson were married.

Sondre Lerche


Born Sondre Lerche Vaular, 5 Sepember 1982, in Bergen, Norway. SL is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He began formal guitar instruction aged 8 and wrote his first song, Locust Girl, aged 14. His exposure to diverse musical styles (Pop, Psychedelia, Jazz, 70’s/80’s Brazilian mainstream) has led to his own eclectic musical output encompassing fuzzy garage rock, breezy vocal jazz, acoustic folk-pop and Bossa nova. He released his debut album Faces Down in 2001.

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