AG’s Star Power Throws Jazz Pianist Off
By Joe Palazzolo | October 20, 2021 1:29 pm

Marcus Johnson

Marcus Johnson

Marcus Johnson has the No. 4 album on Billboard’s jazz chart. The jazz pianist cuts a big figure around the country, and particularly here in Washington, where he was raised.

But nerves got the better of Johnson on Monday, during a domestic violence awareness event held in Justice Department’s Great Hall,  reports The Examiner. Johnson, who has appeared in the jazz chart’s top 20 roughly a half dozen times, flubbed the national anthem.

Apparently, he was starstruck.

“I’m sorry, I’m so nervous right now because this man is my idol,” Johnson said, referring to Attorney General Eric Holder. “I’ve been on Billboard … but I’m going to start over.”

And after a signal from Holder, he did, this time without error.

The musician told the Examiner he hadn’t made a mistake of that magnitude since high school.

“I did what I could,” Johnson said. “I’m human just like the rest of you all, I’m nervous but I got this, and then I started over.”

Johnson has followed Holder’s career for many years, he told the newspaper. As a law student at Georgetown, Johnson watched Holder ascend to the rank of deputy attorney general under Janet Reno.

“As black students at Georgetown law and business, we felt that he had passed insurmountable obstacles,” he said.

Johnson called Holder’s confirmation as Attorney General “one of the proudest days of my life.”

“A down-to-earth selfless individual running the Justice Department, imagine that?” he told the newspaper.

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