Marja Johnson CD Launch at The Tambourine Lounge

Sturgeon Bay musician Marja Johnson will launch her debut album Becoming during a performance at The Tambourine Lounge on Monday, May 9. The nine-song collection of voice and piano was recorded with Marcus Trana at Painted Recordings, located in The Holiday Music Motel’s Tambourine Collaboratory.

Though seemingly minimalistic, Marja’s work breathes depth and complexity coupled with an innocent playfulness that resonates her love of composers like Rachel Portman (Benny and Joon) and French composer and pianist Erik Satie (1866-1925). The raw honesty of her lyrics injects humor into even the most heartbreaking experiences.

“I never really thought of myself as a singer but more as a writer,” says Marja while reminiscing about her days growing up in Los Angeles daydreaming about possibly exploring a future in movie soundtrack composition.

While she dabbled in writing and playing in rock bands in high school and her early 20s, she was always plagued by motivation to carry on with her music. Then life happened.

She met a boy from Wisconsin and the two ventured into a career as restaurateurs opening The Cabin just north of Sturgeon Bay. Six years of the daily grind of running a restaurant took its toll. More and more she felt something missing from her life. A conversation with one of her customers yielded her a piano and songs started creeping back in. She found her stride after attending WRiTERS NIGHT at the Holiday Music Motel and will debut her collection of songs on May 9.

Doors open at 7:30 pm and the show begins at 8 pm. Tickets are available by calling the motel at 920.743.5571 or reserving online at

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