About

J&S arms apart outdoors cropped

Johnette and Scott are the foremost children’s music performers in Louisiana, offering a program of toe-tapping, interactive roots-based music that both children and parents will enjoy and long remember. Their programs of almost all-original songs bring the sounds of Cajun music, zydeco, traditional jazz, Isleño culture, swamp pop and New Orleans rhythm and blues to life for young ears. Johnette’s gift for communicating with children is matched by smart musicianship and songs that make their tour of Louisiana’s rich cultural landscape fun for all in attendance.

Biography – Johnette Downing

Johnette Downing developed a love of music at an early age. As a child, her tuba and violin-playing father and her saxophone- and piano-playing mother took Johnette and her siblings to New Orleans’ French Quarter, where they would stand in the doorways of clubs listening to jazz and ragtime. Her passion for roots music, and for sharing music with children in the same way her parents had shared it with her, led Johnette to become what the media have called “the Musical Ambassador to Children,” bringing her Louisiana roots music to children in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Central America, North America and the Caribbean. The winner of twenty-two international awards, Johnette has teamed up with her harmonica-playing husband Scott Billington, who shares her roots music passion. She is also the author of 18 acclaimed children’s books, including the beloved Today Is Monday in Louisiana.

Biography – Scott Billington

Scott Billington’s multifaceted career in the music business began when his mother traded a book of Green Stamps for a harmonica, which she gave her 11-year-old son as a Christmas present. By the time he was 16, he was performing in New England coffeehouses and clubs. Pursuing his love of blues and roots music, Scott went to work for Rounder Records in the mid-1970s. He has since produced over 100 albums of roots-oriented music for Rounder and other labels, which have won two Grammy® awards and eleven Grammy® nominations. Other awards include the Sweet Soul Music Award (Italy), and the Offbeat (New Orleans) Lifetime Achievement Award. In recognition of his work in Louisiana, Governor Edwin W. Edwards appointed Scott a Louisiana Colonel. His performances with the Johnette and Scott duo tap his skills as a harmonica player, percussionist and harmony singer.

 

Quotes

“Call it a match made in roots music Heaven.” – Herman Fusillier, Offbeat Magazine, New Orleans

“Such classic swamp roots.” – Allen Foster, Songwriters Monthly

“A boogie on the bayou.” – Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport, MA

“Refreshing.” – Rev Down, DittyTV, Memphis, TN

Performance Highlights

IGA Conference, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport, MA

Nantucket Atheneum, Nantucket, MA

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, New Orleans, LA

New Orleans Jazz Historical National Park, New Orleans, LA

Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA

High Point Public Library, High Point, NC

Hudson Children’s Book Festival, Hudson, NY

Boo at the Zoo, Audubon Zoo, New Orleans, LA

Louisiana Book Festival, New Orleans, LA

St. Nicholas Fair, New Orleans, LA

French Quarter Festival, New Orleans, LA

Media Highlights

DittyTV, Memphis, TN

Apres midi, KRVS Public Radio, Lafayette, LA

Hilltown Family Variety Show, Northampton, MA

Around Town TV Show, Baton Rouge, LA

KATC-TV 3, Lafayette, LA

KLFY-TV 10, Lafayette, LA