Press release from The Lloyd Johnson Foundation:
The Lloyd Johnson Foundation is a newly established non-profit organization created to honor the memory of music lover Lloyd Johnson. By providing education and career advancement opportunities, LJF’s mission is to grow and nurture the musical spirit of Western North Carolina. In late September, the foundation partnered with other organizations to present the official International Bluegrass Music Association showcase, The Bluegrass Ramble, in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Lloyd Johnson Foundation will serve as primary sponsor of the notable MerleFest 2018 Band Competition, which highlights local, national, and international artists at MerleFest, with the winner receiving a prime-time performance slot.
MerleFest was an event Lloyd always enjoyed attending and looked forward to discovering new bands. By sponsoring the contest, awareness will be raised about the efforts of The Lloyd Johnson Foundation. LFJ is currently organizing a benefit for the foundation that will feature some of the best singer-songwriters in Western North Carolina and beyond. Dates and details about the benefit will be announced in early 2018.
About Lloyd Johnson:
As a native of Buncombe County, NC, Lloyd performed in several Bluegrass bands — most recently, the Dixie Grass Band. In addition to performing, he has supported bluegrass and country music artists through festival and concert attendance. Over the years, he traveled across the country forging lasting relationships with legends like Bill Monroe, Don Reno, Wayne Lewis, and countless other musicians.
Johnson died on June 20, 2017, at the age of 73. In response to his passing, a community of musicians came together to donate and create this trust fund in his name so his support of the music he loved could continue. The board of the LJF consists of Asheville based musicians, business owners, and music professionals who were all privileged to call Lloyd a friend; including President Ty Gilpin, Vice President Mark Bumgarner, Secretary/Treasurer Jim Turpin, and Board Members Joe Eckert, Amy Wester, Tim Surrett, Emmet Carney, Adele Boychuk, and Craig Peters.
The Executive Director of the LJF is Lloyd’s son, Steve Johnson, a musician and music business professional who wanted to honor his father’s legacy. “My father introduced me to several different Bluegrass musicians as I was growing up and that really sparked my interest in,” said Steve, “We hope that this foundation can continue that same tradition of supporting people who are interested in pursuing a formal career in the music industry.”
To donate, find out more, and view upcoming events, please visit