Johnny Late was born in the dusty town of Welkom in the Free State, but is currently based in Johannesburg, Gauteng. He started playing guitar at the age of 16 and also joined his first band at the same age. Since then he has played in various bands and has shared stages with some of the top artists in South Africa. In 2008 he completed his studies in Contemporary music at Damelin. He completed his BMus honours, with distinction in 2012 and his MMus with distinction in 2014.
He was part time lecturer at Damelin College, from 2009 – 2012, lecturing in: Ear Training, Theory, Music Business, Band Performance and Contemporary Guitar. He is also a full time session guitarist and has played for some of the top acts in South Africa including: Danny K, Lira, R.J. Benjamin, Tailor, Zola, Mel Botes, Emmanuelle Kastis, Farryl Purkiss, Graeme Watkins Project, Hot Water and Michael Lowman to mention but a few. He has played over 700 live shows since 2008. Some highlights include: The Cape Town Jazz Festival, Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival, Oppikoppi, Johburg Day, Parklife Festival, Aardklop National Arts Festival, Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, Innibos Arts Festival, S.A.F.T.A’s (South African Film and Television Awards) to name but a few.
In the 2012 he played runs of both the “Hairspray” and “Grease” musicals as well as the “ABBAsolutely FABBAulous” show at Silverstar Casino. He also played a successful run at Sun City of the Theatre show, “Music Evolution”, which he musically directed and arranged. Other shows that he arranged and musically directed include “Country Roads”, “Fairytales Rock”, “Scream”, Bob Dylan “No Directions Home” Tribute and Johnny Cash the “Man in Black” Tribute. He played lead guitar in both the Eric Clapton “Slowhand” tribute, Bob Dylan “No Direction Home” tribute as well as for the Simon and Garfunkel “Old Friends” tribute. Johnny played 188 live shows in 2012 alone.
In 2013 Johnny was appointed as the Head of Contemporary Music at the prestigious St John’s College in Houghton, Johannesburg.
National Television appearances:
Late Night with Kgomotso
The Trevor Noah Show