The Motor City Beat joins the 2021 NFWF Entertainment Lineup


This incredible lineup of musicians comes out of the musical heritage of the Motor City. Its members boast direct ties to the origins of Detroit music, and individually they have been a part of the major concert and entertainment scene for decades.

Band Leader Louis Johnson is joined by consortium of top Detroit area musicians to form Motor City Beat and Louis Johnson Jazz. They are highly experienced in all types of popular music, especially Motown, Jazz and Blues and have played in a wide array of settings, from large stage shows to private residences. Some of the venues which they’ve played recently include many of the top Country Clubs in South Eastern Michigan and northern Ohio, the Motor City Casino, Detroit Princess River Boat, Michigan State Fair Grounds, The Henry Ford, Detroit Zoo, and many others, as well as many private residences.

"Motor City Beat’ is a high energy rhythm & blues, Motown & jazz band, led by multi-instrumentalist Louis Johnson & featuring a stable of top professional musicians & singers from Detroit"


Louis Johnson hails from Western Michigan and a musical family. He started playing professionally in high school and went on to obtain a degree in music performance from Kalamazoo College. He also studied at the Paris Conservatory and holds French diplomas in music and has performed and recorded around the world. While in College Louis played frequently with renowned Jazz pianist Claude Black and later toured Japan with the Brazilian organist Walter Wanderlay, and Puerto Rico with Columbian Pianist Eddie Martinez. Louis moved to the Detroit area in the mid 1980’s and co-founded “Motor City Beat” with the late, great, Motown Records session musicians, John E. Griffith and Richard “Pistol” Allen and has performed with many of the top musicians in the area, including Don Mayberry and Larry Walton, ever since.

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