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Child Prodigy

Johnie on Ted Mack Amateur Hour – Age 12


IT’S BEEN OVER 50 YEARS since Johnie Faren performed his 90 seconds of fame on Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.   And today….he has been acclaimed as an Internationally known All-Star drummer.  But let us back up a bit to see the amazing history of this man and his drums that led him to this height in the entertainment World. During that time, he teamed up with friend and accordionist “Paul Betken” and performed under the name of “Sticks & Fingers” performing in shows around the country.  He also became a member of the Chicago S.W. Symphony Orchestra at age 12.

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Career success

Johnie with Benny Carter


His drumming also reached new heights as he traveled frequently to Asia (Korea, Japan, China) and became the drummer of choice for many Jazz Festivals.  Performances with Bud Freeman, Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Benny Goodman, Red Norvo, Anita O’Day, Benny Carter, Charlie Ventura, Woody Herman,…and who could ever forget that historic event at the Midway Theatre..Tribute to Benny Goodman which Faren produced, directed and performed in with “Lilton” Martha Tilton.

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Still Winning

Johnie’s – Orient Jazz Express


WHILE THE LAST 15 YEARS have been very active and exciting performing in festivals and concerts throughout the World…. health issues developed once again that put Johnie’s career on hold for nearly a year …  But hope is a strange thing…a strong thing…and in 2011, while good news came from his doctors, he was contracted to be the drummer for the 2011 European International Jazz All-Stars to tour Europe.  Johnie was on his way again…beating all odds…and at 100%.  In 2012, he again toured Europe with the European International Jazz All-Stars.

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Johnie with Charley Ventura


  • Johnie Faren & His Visual Jazz (out of print)
  • Johnie Faren “World Drum Battle Champion” (out of print)
  • That Drummin Man (now available)
  • “Live..From Shanghai” Johnie Faren & The Orient Express (now available)
  • The Last Dance (now availabe) 2014
  • Johnie Faren …. The First 50 Years (available fall 2014)
  • The All New Johnie Faren Quartet (available 2015)




What They Say:


“Johnie Faren is a rhythm freak. A syncopated version of a man possessed, an artist who has escaped his own generation and, for that matter, definition!”

Walter Patrick
Independent correspondent

“life and music”

“Johnie Faren has seen more of life and music than any other man that I know”

Eddy Banjura
Illiana Jazz Club


“There are many drummers…but few who combine the skill of a drummer with the soul of a musician…fewer still who possess these two qualities plus that illusive something known as showmanship. Johnie Faren has all three plus an even rarer quality known as modesty. It’s a dynamic combination”

Safety Harbor, Fla.

“repetitive dexterity”

“Johnie backed by any band, provides hours of exploration into the improbability that the World can be explained by repetitive dexterity”

St. Petersburg Times











P.O. Box 100 Cherry Valley, Illinois 61016