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DJ Johnson Brings Soulful Sound To Springfield Streets

still from video by Chris Withers Photography
DJ Johnson plays on the Old State Capitol Plaza

Some visitors to downtown Springfield have been met with a surprise this year. It’s a welcome one for fans of the blues and soul music.

Credit Otwell
Johnson plays in Craft Beer Bar

Danva Johnson, who goes by DJ, is originally from the Mississippi Delta but moved here with his wife to be closer to family - including new grandchildren. He's been a welcome addition to downtown - often setting his Yamaha keyboard on a trashcan and jamming out for passerby. He's also been playing in venues like the Craft Beer Bar. We decided to get to know him better after one of those performances. Take a listen:

This video by Chris Withers Photography, featuring Johnson, has been viewed more than 30,000 times on social media. 

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.