Door County Folk Festival
Shirley Johnson
(Austin, TX)

Shirley Johnson grew up in Pittsburgh, PA. immersed in her Croatian heritage. At the age of ten she began her accordion studies. Throughout her childhood she performed music and dances as a member of various Tamburitza groups. In College she was a member of the Duke University Chorale she had the opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall and Disney World. She has traveled to Czechoslovakia with the Pittsburgh Area Slovaks and accompanied them on accordion at folk festivals in Detva and Senec as well as on Czechoslovak TV and radio.

After college she began dancing international folk-dances and became acquainted with the music of other European cultures. Thanks to the East European Folklife Center, which sponsors workshops devoted to Balkan music, Shirley learned techniques specific to those countries from expert accordionists and singers. Since moving to Austin, Texas she has performed in concerts, on radio and TV, in clubs, restaurants, festivals, and private parties. While maintaining a regular performance schedule, Shirley began teaches accordion, hoping to pass on the knowledge and love of her instrument and music to the next generation.