Alumnus Lucien Johnson off to New York with Harriet Friedlander Residency

The residency will see Lucien and his partner, choreographer Lucy Marinkovich, head to New York for as long as $100,000 lasts them.

Lucien Johnson

Lucien Johnson graduated with a DMA from the New Zealand School of Music – Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington this year. His study was focused on Ethio-Jazz and explored the ways in which music can travel and be adopted by musicians.

He has been described as “a saxophonist and composer of rare excellence and mettle.” He has worked with some of the world’s leading jazz musicians including free improvising trio Alan Silva and Makoto Sato, and father of Ethio-Jazz, Mulatu Astatke. Johnson also features on records by NZ favourites, The Phoenix Foundation, Hollie Smith and Lawrence Arabia. In 2017, Lucien and his partner Lucy Marinkovich collaborated on Borderline Arts Ensemble’s award winning work Lobsters, which played at Circa Theatre.

The pair are joint recipients of the residency, which was set up by Harriet Friedlander, a dedicated supporter of the arts. She also loved New York, and believed that any young artist exposed to the city would learn and grow in unimaginable ways.  Supported by the Arts Foundation, the residency sends an artist to New York for as long as $100,000 will last them.

Lucien and Lucy are still coming to terms with the good news and say, “we are beyond excited for the unknown of what our time in New York, a dream machine, will hold for us - rich as it is in its myths of transformation, challenge, and opportunity.”