The Piano Man
Daily Universe

The beginning of the musical parade this weekend will start with a BYU pianist playing his original music.

Jared Johnson will open for Peter Breinholt and Big Parade on Jan. 12 at 7:30 in the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom at BYU.

Johnson, 22, from Houston, majoring in communications will be the opening act for Breinholt. He will play a 20-minute set.

Johnson will be releasing his first CD, "Piano Pop" after the performance.

Johnson describes his music as piano pop because, "it won't put you to sleep on a Sunday afternoon or anything."

Breinholt chooses acts by how appropriate the music of another musician would contribute to his concert.

"I think he saw this as appropriate because it's a BYU concert, and here I am a student," Johnson said.

He has been trying to open for Breinholt for months.

"I'm one of his biggest fans. This is a great spring board into what my career turns into," he said.

Johnson started playing at the age of 5 with his mother as his piano teacher. After being inspired by John Schmidt's piano pieces while at EFY, Johnson went on to write a few songs and play for friends.

Johnson's wife, Stephanie, is supportive of his chance to play with Breinholt.

"It's a dream come true for him; it is something that he has wanted to do his whole life and he is really excited for," she said.

His first performance of his original work was at a ward prayer of his freshman year, Johnson said.

He began to write songs on his preparation day in the Denver, Colorado South Mission.

The tune of the song, "Snow Angels," came to him in between appointments in the mission field.

"I always describe it as piano pop; it's his own genre. I love listening to it. It's really relaxing and upbeat and it has a lot of jazz in it," Stephanie Johnson said.

Another song, "Reunion," was written after seeing friends from before his mission.

"It's a really upbeat song," he said.

His piano solos have caught on in popularity and he has been invited to play at a few different venues, Johnson said.

He has performed at BYUSA's Live at the Terrace, and at the BYU Homecoming Dance at the Chillon Reception Center last October.

After consultation with David Tolk, another LDS piano soloist, Johnson decided to form his own record company, along with a Web site.

Johnson and his wife designed the Web site:, to make his CD more available.

"I wanted people that enjoy my music to be able to get it," Johnson said.