The latest innovation in New Orleans funk, Chapter:SOUL is a project from bandleader and tenor saxophonist Calvin Johnson, Jr. and features a modern four-piece funk and soul band.  The idea for Chapter:SOUL first struck Johnson after a long tour with New Orleans’ famous Dirty Dozen Brass Band and a conversation with sousaphonist Kirk Joseph.  

Realizing the time was ripe for fresh ideas in the New Orleans sound, Johnson joined forces with Kashonda Bailey (organ, keyboards, and synths), Terry Scott, Jr. (drums and pads), and Julius McKee (sousaphone) to from a new band with a brand new sound – something Johnson would later call “NOLA future soul.”  Together, they would use a blend of street brass and bounce rhythms to create original compositions and reimagine soul/jazz classics.

So far, Chapter:SOUL has toured extensively through the American west, south, and southeast.  Their first mixtape, The Bible: Book I, dropped in October 2016.

Touring Highlights

  • Gasa Gasa (New Orleans, LA)
  • Verret’s Lounge (New Orleans, LA)
  • The Howlin’ Wolf (New Orleans, LA)
  • Lafayette’s Music Room (Memphis, TN)
  • BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups (Saint Louis, MO)
  • Antone’s Nightclub (Austin, TX)
  • The Free Man Cajun Cafe & Lounge (Dallas, TX)
  • Old Arabi Bar (Arabi, LA)
  • Three Keys at Ace Hotel (New Orleans, LA)
  • Freret Street Festival (New Orleans, LA)
  • Four Quarter Bar (Little Rock, AR)
  • Sahara Lounge (Austin, TX)
  • Wharton’s (Covington, LA)
  • TC’s Midtown Grill (Conway, AR)
  • d.b.a. (New Orleans, LA)
  • Grand Stafford Theater (Bryan, TX)
  • Maple Leaf Bar (New Orleans, LA)
  • Bayou Boogaloo (New Orleans, LA)
  • Gottrocks (Greenville, SC)
  • Congress Street Social Club (Savannah, GA)
  • Justice Snow’s (Aspen, CO)
  • Speakeasy Vape Lounge & Cannabis Club (Colorad0 Springs, CO)


“Johnson has played with everyone from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band to the rapper Mystikal, and his multigenre musical vision takes shape on the futuristic electro-jazz-fusion of ‘James Joint’ and the hip-hop/jam-band hybrid ‘Freakish.’” – Vincent Harris,

“[Chapter:SOUL] take New Orleans funk and soul to a new level, reimagining classic tunes with modern sounds and innovative arrangements.” – Roots+Wires Presents,

“New Orleans’ rich musical history has long been one of the signature facets of the Crescent City … for saxophonist Calvin Johnson, bandleader of funk and soul outfit, Chapter:SOUL, that legacy is also an important part of his family heritage.  As a third-generation New Orleans musician, … [Johnson] has performed, toured and recorded with many well-known acts such has as Aaron Neville, Harry Connick, Jr., and Big Sam’s Funky Nation” – Micah Smith,


Cate Esser |