Jack Johnson is a Hawaiian native who strongly believes in doing what he can for the planet and would prefer to redirect any spotlight from him to the issues that are important to him. He has long donated profits to charity and in 2008 donated 100% of his Sleep Through The Static tour profits to establish the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation.
2004 saw the birth of the Kokua Festival on Earth Day weekend at Honolulu’s Waikiki Shell, a festival which doubles as a community-centred celebration of music and environmental awareness and as the major fundraiser for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation. The Kokua Hawaii Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by Johnson and his wife Kim in 2003 to support environmental education in schools and communities of Hawaii. This festival spotlights artists who share the mission of protecting the planet and raising environmental awareness.
The festival is more than just the music, there is a major educational component as well with over 50 eco-friendly businesses and local environmental groups interacting with fans in the Kokua Village alongside sustainable products, alternative-energy demonstrations, local produce and activities for children. The festival is a leader in low-impact concert production with its use of green measures to reduce energy use and minimise waste. They also offset any carbon emissions they haven’t been able to reduce by funding clean-energy development in Hawaii.
This year, just in time for Earth Day, Jack Johnson and Friends – Best of Kokua Festival will be released on April 20th. The album consists of 13 live tracks taken from the festivals and highlights Johnson’s onstage collaborations with legendary musicians that share his vision and have shared the stage through the festivals history.
Johnson and his band team up with a wealth of talented guest artists to perform original works as well as energetic covers of classic songs. This album features legendary musicians like Willie Nelson, Jackson Browne, Eddie Vedder, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews and the list goes on.
Johnson’s brand of folk-rock is represented by the inclusion of ‘Constellations’ with Eddie Vedder, Mudfootball with Ozomatil G. Love. Guest artists are joined by Johnson for stripped back renditions of their own hits like Jackson Browne’s ‘Take It Easy’ and the bluesy ‘Further On Down The Road’ with Taj Mahal.
To complete the album there is a collection of covers that include Bob Marley’s ‘High Tide or Low Tide’ featuring Ben Harper, Bob Dylan’s ‘I Shall Be Released’ with Eddie Vedder and Willie Nelson performs ‘Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain’ with Ben Harper.
After the album release Jack Johnson will head out to play a seven-date, all acoustic tour of Hawaii with John Cruz and Paula Fuga.